1. What are textiles?
Textiles include all types of cloth or woven fabric. They may be of natural or artificial fibres. Textiles are used for clothing, linens, bedding, upholstery, curtains, carpets, and other items.
2. What kinds of textiles can be donated?
All clothing (including footwear) and other fabric items can be donated, as long as they are relatively clean and dry. Even if an item is missing button, out of style, well-loved or full of holes, we want it!
Cloth Diapers (clean & dry)
3. How soiled can the items be in order to be acceptable for donation?
Donate EVERYTHING! Unless soiled with grease or oil, all textiles can be donated and recycled! It doesn’t matter if they are holey, wrinkled, stained, dirty or just plain ugly, please donate them. We will decide if they can be used again or not. You can even donate a single shoe! Items simply need to be free of hazardous contaminants and dry.
4. Where can I donate my textiles?
Textile donation bins are located across Nova Scotia at a variety of retail and grocery stores, malls, gas stations, Enviro-Depots and other businesses. To find the location nearest you, click here. Locations may have restrictions on items accepted. Please check with your local listing.
5. Why should I donate textiles?
Textiles that could be reused or donated make up 10% of the waste stream in Nova Scotia and take up valuable space in our landfills. Diverting textile waste from landfills will save space for items that have no current recycling programs. Donating your textiles also helps feed the demand for this material both locally and internationally. Currently, the supply of textiles does not meet the growing market demands. Many marginalized citizens could benefit from a greater supply of affordable clothes. Let’s keep the supply coming so everyone benefits!
6. What can I NOT put in the donation bin?
Only fabric based items may be placed in the donation bin or dropped off at a donation site. Please do not drop off electronics, non-fabric toys, mattresses, blue bag recyclables, garbage or other non-textile items. See the list of acceptable items above for donation. Please contact us if you have any item specific questions.
7. Does my donation stay in my community?
Most donations stay here in Nova Scotia and are sold to raise money for the programs and services of our member organizations. When donated items cannot be used here, they are not sent to the landfill. Rather, they are sold overseas and the money raised is invested in our local communities to support social programs and research.
Several things can happen to donated textiles:
- They can be resold at second-hand clothing stores locally
- They can be sent to developing countries and resold as affordable clothing
Those fabrics which cannot be resold or given away as affordable clothing are:
- Turned into wiping cloths, which are used in a variety of industries and businesses (everything from manufacturers to repair shops, construction industries, stores, and maintenance and custodial departments)
- Processed back into fibers and turned into paper, yarn, insulation, carpet padding, and many other items
9. Can businesses use the drop-off bins to donate textiles?
YES! Businesses may use the drop-off bins. However, if your business has a large volume of textiles, please contact one of the member organizations to arrange for convenient pick-up of your items.
10. Can textiles made with synthetic fibres be recycled?
YES! All fabrics can be recycled as long as they are not contaminated with grease or other hazardous contaminants.
11. Can I place textiles in my blue bag for recycling and place them curbside for pickup?
NO! Textiles recycling and curbside municipal recycling are separate programs. Please do not place any textiles in blue bags for curbside recycling collection as they will be rejected. All textiles should be brought to a donation bin or store location for proper handling.