City’s textile program surpasses 10-million-pound mark

In two years, Markham has turned 10 million pounds of possible trash into donations. The city was recently awarded the Bronze Innovative Management Award (sponsored by IBM) from the Institute of Public Administration of Canada for its textile recycling program.

“Receiving 10 million pounds of textiles and household items from Markham residents has been a tremendous gift to our charity partners,” said Claudia Marsales, city waste management and environmental services senior manager. “The generosity of Markham residents has directly helped families in need and diverted this material from landfills. Thank you Markham residents – you have made a positive difference in your community.”

This is the third award Markham has received for the program. They received the Waste Wiki Environmental Leadership Award from York University in 2017 and the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) Environmental Award.

According to recent estimates, 95 per cent of clothing thrown out each year can be reused again. When Markham implemented the clear bag program in 2013, the waste management department noticed that the curbside garbage was full of textiles.

Markham residents are encouraged to take their bagged donations to any one of the Markham donation containers located across the city, including Markham recycling depots, fire stations and community centres. All textiles including single socks, ripped t-shirts, old sheets and worn-out shoes are accepted. The city has partnered with The Salvation Army Thrift Store, Diabetes Canada and Value Village to deliver the program.

Photo (l-r): Councillor Allan Ho; Mayor Frank Scarpitti; Claudia Marsales; Brenda Librecz, community and fire services commissioner; and Deputy Mayor Jack Heath show off the Bronze Innovative Management Award for the textile recycling program.

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