Ask and you shall receive: Hopewell Valley now has a year-round “Textile Drive!”

Outdoor collection bins are now available at all Hopewell Valley schools in response to the awesome turnout to the HVRSD’s 4 (and counting!) annual election-day textile drives. Year-round collection means no more squirreling away your textiles for election day!

The textile drive is a project of the Hopewell Valley Regional School District in partnership with Spin Green, a Brooklyn-based textile recycling company. Spin Green’s mission is simply: “to keep clothes out of landfills, preserve the environment and clothe the needy whenever possible.”

And, on top of the warm-fuzzy feeling that comes with helping the environment, funds raised at each drop-box support the PTO of that school.

Heidi Wilenius, HVRSD Textile Drive Coordinator shared with MercerMe, “Since the Textile Drive began in 2010, we have collected over 20 tons of textiles – much of which would have otherwise ended up in landfills. Ever since the beginning, community members have been asking for a year round collection, and we are thrilled that our new partnership with SpinGreen makes this possible.”

Here’s how it works:

What’s collected:

Clothing, shoes, handbags, hats, belts, blankets, linens, towels, fabric scraps, pillows and stuffed toys. Any condition. Stained or ripped = no problem! Nothing wet and no carpet. 

Now you can find that final resting place for all your lonely socks. Mine have been undergoing an unsuccessful dating experiment in a basket for years.

Collection bin locations:

At each school in HVRSD. Hopewell Elementary School’s bin is already in place, in the parking lot opposite the stop sign near the frog, while the other schools’ bins will be arriving this week. Here’s the map of all locations.

How the schools benefit:

Spin Green pays by the pound for all the items collected and the money from each collection bin goes directly to the PTO of that school. The PTOs then “cover expenses such as field trips, assemblies, school gardens, science fairs, library books, some classroom supplies, playground and gym equipment, teacher appreciation events, special technology purchases, and other programs that enrich the educational experience for all students,” according to the HVRSD website.

Where the textiles go:
  1. First dibs of wearable items go to charities including American Red Cross, American Diabetes Association, Raje, and GMHC.
  2. Second, if the items are still wearable, the textiles are either sold and/or exported to emerging markets both in USA and abroad.
  3. Unwearable textiles are recycled into rags, carpet padding, building insulation, and car seat stuffing
  4. And only about 5% of the items received are not recyclable.
How the bins are maintained/emptied:

Bins are maintained and paid for by Spin Green with HVRSD’s permission. The bins are high-tech/high-security: 16 gauge galvanized repurposed ship steel, weight sensor technology to prevent overfilling, padlocked, rust and fire proof, and fully insured. The bins are emptied with regular scheduled pickups but also will be emptied when sensors detect that the bins are filled to capacity. 

Any collections on Election Day?

Yes! Election Day Textile Drives will still be in effect this year at polling locations with the help of Spin Green and volunteers from the community and HVRSD.

If you already donate your nicer clothes to a local charity, HVRSD encourages you to continue to donate and support those organizations. The collection bins are just another way to help charities, the environment and our community!

Year Round Drive FINAL 

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from SUNY Binghamton and a Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall Law School. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, creative endeavors, and photographing mushrooms. Mary also works as the PR Coordinator at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, serves on the volunteer Board of Trustees of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), holds a seat on the Hopewell Borough Board of Health, and is a member of the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance.