Textiles in BC landfills becoming a concern

Textiles like old clothes, belts, shoes and bedding are adding millions of kilograms of waste to BC's landfills. 

Vancouver has recently started a campaign to raise awareness, and locally, Rae Stewart at the Regional District's Waste Reduction Office says there's no reason to toss old clothes in the garbage.

"We do have clothing drop boxes popping up all over town. They're being very aggressive on where they're putting them - highly visible, well-trafficked locations so the next time people go to the drug store, they just the pop their extras right in there - it makes it easy," says Stewart.   

She also says tossing used clothing is worrisome, especially when that clothing often is very retro and trendy.

"It's one of those things in the heirarchy of reuse that we obviously encourage. There are things like clothing swaps that have become popular - and we even have a Repair Cafe, a couple times a year, where there are seamstresses on hand to repurpose your clothing - to give it a whole new life - and show you how to do the repair," says Stewart.

Stewart says in 2013, 5% of all the solid waste going into the Glenmore landfill was textiles - or about 1,283 metric tons.

The next Repair Cafe, which will have volunteers to repair items like clothing, is at Okanagan College March 30th.