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Calumet City Thunderbolts earn Recycling Award


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CHICAGO | The Calumet City Thunderbolts won top honors from local clothing recycler USAgain for Best Recycling Program Promotion after turning a one-day clothing drive into a year-long opportunity to further the cause of textile recycling.

During the 2015 Green-T Award ceremony held recently at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, USAgain recognized the youth football and cheer organization for its exemplary efforts in reducing textile waste. The Thunderbolts hosted clothing drives that led to the collection of 2,600 pounds of clothing and shoes.

“Football has a huge impact on our culture and there’s a reason that sports figures become role models. It’s been exciting to see the Calumet City Thunderbolt’s passion for good sportsmanship extends beyond the field and into the community,” said USAgain CEO Mattias Wallander. “From the players to the cheerleaders to the parents who greatly championed the issues surrounding textile recycling, we are proud to present the Thunderbolts with a big win for their team and the environment.”

The Green-T Awards reward individuals and organizations that support recycling and sustainability in Illinois. In partnerships with cities, local businesses and nonprofit organizations – including schools, churches, fire stations, humane societies and youth groups – USAgain hosts 1,100 recycling bins in the Chicago area that diverted seven million pounds of textiles from going into landfills in 2014 alone.

“We’re not just a team on game day, and this is a big take away our kids get from our partnership with USAgain,” said Lena Smith, the coordinator of the Thunderbolts Booster Club and the fundraiser. “Throughout the season, we’re learning about healthy habits, good examples and winning skills. Textile recycling gives us the opportunity to apply these lessons off the field and understand the impact we have on our communities.”

USAgain has corporate headquarters in suburban West Chicago. Its mission is to provide consumers with a convenient and eco-friendly option to recycle excess clothing. The USEPA estimates that the average person throws away 70 pounds of clothing per year, totaling an estimated 12 million tons in landfills.

Textile Recycling Changes in La Porte County

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Following textile recycler USAgain’s recent restructuring of its Chicago service area, three locations remain for county residents who want recycle unwanted or damaged clothing, bedding, towels, shoes and other textiles, the La Porte County Solid Waste District announced Thursday.

In the past few years, USAgain installed about two dozen of its green and white textile recycling bins in sites around the county, District Recycling Coordinator Nancy McVay said. They were initially going to pull out of La Porte County all together, but the District convinced them to maintain a few sites in convenient locations for residents, McVay said.


The three remaining locations are:
In La Porte: Outside our office at 2857 W. State Road 2, or in the handicap parking lot near the entrance to the La Porte County Fairgrounds.
In Wanatah: At the JMart BP, 10300 W. US Hwy 30

Textiles in good condition, as well as those with rips or stains, can be recycled in these USAgain bins. The items are reused or recycled in many capacities, from secondhand clothing markets to industries that use them to make things like rags or insulation.

“Textiles do not belong in your curbside recycling bins,” she said. “Make sure to bring them to a USAgain drop box for recycling if you do not donate them to a local thrift store.”

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USAgain Wins Environmental Stewardship Award








Textile recycler honored for excellence in Georgia two years in a row

STONE MOUNTAIN, GA (Aug. 31, 2015) – USAgain, a leader in the textile recycling industry, was recently honored for its success in recycling and waste reduction within Georgia during the ninth annual Spirit of Green Awards, held by the Georgia Recycling Coalition (GRC).

For the second year in a row, the GRC presented USAgain with the Environmental Stewardship Award during its annual conference in St. Simon’s Island, Georgia. The award serves to highlight excellence in recycling and acknowledges individuals or organizations whose actions sustain the recycling industry’s viability.

Across the state of Georgia, communities are working to be more sustainable, balancing economic growth with environmental protection,” said Gloria Hardegree, Executive Director of GRC. “USAgain’s textile recycling initiatives are reflective of these efforts, proving to be economical and environmentally successful. While reminding us to use our resources wisely for greater efficiency, USAgain has helped businesses and governmental groups increase waste reduction efforts and provide new recycling opportunities with no added costs to city infrastructure.”

The added bonus, they say, is how recycling efforts have empowered communities with “convenient options and increasing environmental awareness.”

For the past 15 years, USAgain has provided textile recycling services to the residents of Georgia, helping to divert over 58,550,000 lbs of textiles from the state’s landfills. Working with organizations, community leaders and public officials, they have helped improve the environment by preventing over 409,850,000 pounds of greenhouse gases and landfill space by over 367,383 cubic yards – or over 28,539 garbage truckloads.

“Over the past 15 years, we’ve worked to improve recycling in Georgia as more communities are sharing a goal towards greater sustainability.” Said Mattias Wallander, CEO of USAgain. “Mutually beneficial partnerships with like-minded counties, cities, and schools have been key to our success here.”

With a no-cost, no-work and no-liability system for recycling participants, USAgain has implemented 1,300 clothing collection bins across Georgia. As the collections begin to reduce waste and create efficiency for waste management operations, they also produce revenue streams for partners thanks to the company’s revenue share program.

More than 12 million tons of textiles are discarded in the U.S. every year with only 15% being reused, recycled or repurposed. After creating 10 new partnerships in the past year, USAgain aims to grow recycling rates by continue making recycling more convenient to citizens of Georgia while improving the environment.

Clothing Recycler USAgain Makes Spring Cleaning Easy for Chicago

Spring Cleaning Easy

Clothing Recycler USAgain Makes Spring Cleaning Easy for Chicago

CHICAGO (May 11, 2015) – Chicagoans looking to make more room in their closets this spring by ridding themselves of old clothing and shoes should think about the recycling bin instead of the garbage can.

USAgain, (pronounced use-again) is helping to make spring cleaning easy this year by equipping local communities with a convenient, accessible and earth-friendly resource to recycle their unwanted clothing and shoes and give them a second life.

“With textile recycling becoming more common throughout Illinois, it’s never been easier to recycle your unwanted clothes and shoes, which ultimately saves landfill space and helps protect the environment,” said USAgain CEO Mattias Wallander. “More and more environmentally conscious consumers are looking beyond the trash cans because they now have a convenient, no-cost approach to ensuring their clothing gets recycled or re-used.”

In 2014, seven million pounds of clothing and shoes were diverted from landfills thanks to Chicago area residents. By diverting 6,994,983 pounds of textiles, USAgain and its patrons prevented 49 million pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere and saved more than 10 billion gallons of water and 39,971 cubic yards of landfill space.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency notes that 85 percent of all unwanted clothing, or 12 million tons, end up in the garbage and make their way to the landfills every year.

“We are making progress but – as a green-focused company – our mission is to further reduce the amount of clothing that winds up buried in the landfills by changing people’s mindset and behavior when it comes to disposing of their clothing,” Wallander said.

About USAgain
USAgain, a leader in the textile recycling industry since 1999, is a for-profit company that recycles and reuses clothing, shoes and other textiles. Its mission is to provide consumers with a convenient and eco-friendly option to rid themselves of excess clothing, which is diverted from landfills. USAgain maintains more than 12,500 collection bins in 19 states. For more information, visit to learn more and locate a recycling container near you.

Glass Slipper Project and USAgain Collecting Special Occasion Dresses

prom goes green-slidder-2015

Annual event provides Chicago-area girls with the prom of a lifetime

CHICAGO (February 12, 2015) – Is your closet full of dresses you no longer wear? Now there is a way to clean your closet, help the environment and give back to Chicagoland high school seniors by recycling your special occasion dresses.  Prom Goes Green, a partnership between Glass Slipper Project and clothing recycler USAgain, is now collecting dresses to giveaway to girls in need of a prom dress. 

The Glass Slipper Project provides an opportunity for Chicagoland high school seniors to select a new or gently prom dress at no cost to wear to their school’s prom. The event also provides an opportunity for those looking to donate and recycle their gently used special occasion dresses.

Dresses may be dropped off at green and white USAgain bins located throughout the area. The process is simple for donors – bag your surplus dresses in great shape, label the bag PROM with a permanent marker and drop off the dresses in USAgain bins, locations available at Check out more drop off locations at

“Every year we are able to help more and more girls look their best on their special day as well as do something beneficial for the environment,” said Dorian Carter, Founder of the Glass Slipper Project. “Everyone should have the chance to find the dress of their dreams and we are pleased to continue to be able to offer this opportunity at no cost.”

These dresses will be made available at a dress boutique in April where high school seniors will have the opportunity to select a dress to wear to their event. The dress boutique is scheduled for two Saturdays in April: April 18 and April 25. The boutique is located at Price School, 4351 S. Drexel Blvd., in Chicago.

“Students have the opportunity to help the environment while finding a prom dress that is cost effective,” said Mattias Wallander, CEO of West Chicago-based USAgain. “We also want to thank those who have recycled their dresses as we couldn’t do this without you. This is a win-win for these students and the environment.”

Thousands of dresses will be available at the event, and shoppers need only to present their valid student I.D. from any local high school – public or private, city or suburban – to take one home.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans throw out 85 percent of their clothing, amounting to more than 11 million tons of textiles that get dumped in landfills. USAgain, a for-profit company, offers a convenient, no-cost alternative to dispose of unwanted clothing and shoes by collecting unwanted items in its green and white bins.

Chicagoland Residents Give a Thumbs Up to Clothing Recycling


USAgain clothing collection bins continue to serve as a convenient recycling option

CHICAGO, IL (Jan. 20, 2015) – Seven million pounds of clothing and shoes were diverted from landfills thanks to Chicago-area residents. That’s 1,598 garbage trucks diverted from going to landfills!

The national textile recycler provides an outlet to give surplus clothing a second life through a network of thousands of recycling bins located nationwide. By diverting 6,994,983 pounds of textiles, USAgain and its patrons prevented 49 million pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, saved more than 10 billion gallons of water, and 39,971 cubic yards of landfill space.

USAgain recycling programs are hosted in partnership with municipalities, local businesses, event based community drives and fundraisers for schools and non-profits.

“We want to commend Chicago area residents for their commitment to sustainability. These collections continue to keep clothing out of our landfills having a positive impact on our environment,” said USAgain CEO Mattias Wallander. “Textile recycling programs are getting attention from municipalities with a goal to improve their overall waste diversion rates and we are working diligently to assist with their goal”.

Recent data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shows 5.7 percent of the municipal solid waste (MSW) is textiles. A staggering 12 million tons of clothing and shoes end up in the garbage and make their way to the landfills every year.

“We are making progress but our mission is to further reduce the amount of clothing that ends up in the landfills through education and outreach events in addition to our clothing recycling bins,” Wallander said. “Every bit counts and our goal is to gain more partnerships and increase the textile recycling rate to 75 percent.”

Rasham Grewal

Phone: 630-293-1239 ext 1001


About USAgain

USAgain – a leader in the textile recycling industry since 1999, USAgain is a for-profit company that recycles and reuses clothing, shoes and other textiles. Its mission is to provide consumers with a convenient and eco-friendly option to rid themselves of excess clothing, which is diverted from landfills. USAgain maintains more than 12,500 collection bins in 19 states. For more information,

Local Clothing Recycler Built Mountain of Clothing for America Recycles Day

chi-ugc-ugc-relatedphoto-local-clothing-recycler-built-mountain-of-clo-2014-11-17USAgain (pronounced use-again), the West Chicago-based textile recycling company, built a “mountain” of clothing – the equivalent of one full garbage truck or 10,000 pounds of clothing -to demonstrate the impact of clothing that gets discarded in the trash and the need to conserve landfill space. The clothing display was located on the plaza of the James R. Thompson Center, 150 W. Randolph St, in Chicago.

“This “mountain” of clothing illustrates just how much space discarded clothing and shoes take up when we throw them into the trash and it eventually ends up in landfills,” said USAgain CEO Mattias Wallander. “Unfortunately, 12 million tons of textiles get buried in landfills each year.”

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, Americans throw away 85 percent of all of their unwanted clothing and shoes into the trash. While the recycling household items, like paper, bottles and cans, has become second nature to many Americans, many still don’t realize that clothing can be recycled too.

USAgain’s mission is to reduce the negative impacts of clothes and shoes on our environment by increasing their reuse and recycling. USAgain gives a new life to discarded clothing by putting them back in the use stream as second hand clothing. Clothes that are not in condition to be re-worn are shredded to make new material like insulation for homes and car industry or to reclaim fiber to make new fabric.

Celebrating its 15th anniversary, USAgain operates more than 14,000 collection bins in 19 states. In 2013 alone, USAgain collected 55 million pounds of clothing, shoes and other textiles that were recycled or re-used.

“In 15 years, USAgain has diverted over six hundred million items of clothing, shoes and textiles from our nation’s landfills, which helps reduce waste, save energy and conserves resources, like water that ultimately protects our planet.”” said Mattias Wallander, CEO of USAgain. “More and more people are becoming aware of clothing recycling and doing their part as it has become easier and more convenient to recycle. There is always more we can do and America Recycles Day is a great time to start and consider what they can do to make the world a better place.”

America Recycles Day is a nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. Thousands of organizations across the country will hold recycling events to promote recycling. Since its inception in 1997, communities across the country have participated in America Recycles Day to educate, promote environmental citizenship and encourage action.

USAgain also has challenged local schools as part of America Recycles Day. USAgain is hosting a Textile Recycling School Challenge where participating schools compete to collect the most textiles for recycling. The top five collecting schools will win cash prizes and all schools will raise funds for every pound collected.


Listen to USAgain, CEO Mattias Wallander on WGN Radio Spot!

Get Ready for the America Recycles Day Challenge 2014!









Since 1997, communities across the country have come together on November 15 to celebrate America Recycles Day. Join USAgain in raising environmental awareness beyond November 15 while diverting textile waste from landfills.

  1. What is the America Recycles Day challenge?
    Throughout the month of November 2014, all participating schools will compete to collect the most textiles for recycling. The top five collecting schools will win cash prizes and all schools will raise funds for every pound collected. By hosting a USAgain collection bin on your property, your school is offering students, faculty and the local community an eco-friendly and convenient way to recycle clothes and shoes while your school earns cash per pound of textiles collected.
  2. What can my school win?
    The top five collecting schools will win $1,000, $750, $500, $250, and $100, respectively. All participating schools will raise funds per pound collected.
  3. Will my school have to sell anything in order to raise funds in this program?
    No. USAgain textile recycling fundraisers and contests don’t require any work from your school, parents or students.
  4. Does my school need to sign-up or register?
    Yes. But if your school is already hosting a USAgain bin, you are automatically registered for our school contests. For schools not already hosting a USAgain bin, please sign-up to have a USAgain bin placed on your property.
    The deadline for America Recycles Day registration is October 30, 2014.
  5. How can we promote our USAgain collection bin during the America Recycles Day challenge?
    Downloadable promotional materials, including posters, handouts and flyers designed to help you spread the word in your community, are available here.
  6. How can I see my school’s ranking or collection totals?
    Track your school’s collection results in real-time at
  7. When is the America Recycles Day challenge?
    Mark your calendars! The America Recycles Day challenge is November 1-30, 2014.
  8. Why is textile recycling so important?
    The U.S. EPA estimates that 12 million tons of textiles end up in the landfills every year. If collected, these trashed textiles are in a condition to be reused as secondhand clothing or repurposed for use as industrial wiping rags, insulation or furniture stuffing, among other uses. Learn more on our For Planet page.



GREEN-T Awards and Film Screening

Tuesday, October 7 Agassiz Elementary School 2851 North Seminary Chicago, IL 60657

If you’re interested in the environment, recycling, climate change and networking with local green leaders, join us in celebrating sustainability and recycling on October 7 at Agassiz Elementary School!  USAgain’s Green-T Awards honor some of those who are helping make Illinois a greener place to live through textile recycling. Stay for a free screening of DISRUPTION, a new, fast-paced cinematic journey through the wild world of climate change: the science, the politics, the solutions and the stories that define this crisis at this pivotal point in human history.  

Reserve your free tickets here!


  • 5:30 pm – 6:00 pm: Free Registration and Hors d’oeuvres
  • 6:00 pm – 6:15 pm: Welcome by Mattias Wallander (CEO USAgain)
  • 6:15 pm – 6:35 pm: Green-T Award Ceremony
  • 6:35 pm – 6:55 pm: Keynote Speaker
  • 6:55 pm – 7:00 pm: Intermission
  • 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm: Film screening of DISRUPTION
  • 8:00 pm – 8:15 pm: Q&A

2013 GREEN-T Awards

Lisle Park District Partners with USAgain to Encourage Residents to Recycle Household Textiles

Lisle, IL – Did you know that 70% of the world wears secondhand clothes?1 The Lisle Park District has partnered with USAgain to host a dropbox for recycling textiles in the Community Center parking lot located at 1825 Short Street in Lisle. Help reduce the 85% of textiles being trashed each year.2

USAgain is a for-profit company that collects unwanted textiles and resells them in the United States and abroad, effectively diverting millions of items of clothing from landfills, generating new revenue streams for U.S. business and non-profits, and fueling local economies in emerging countries. The following items are acceptable for collection at the USAgain dropbox at the Lisle Park District Community Center parking lot: clothes; children’s clothing; accessories, such as hats, handbags, gloves, belts, scarves and backpacks; linens, such as bedding, blankets, towels and drapes.

The Lisle Park District is dedicated to discovering new opportunities for environmental protection and advocacy with short and long term goals for recycling. Unfortunately, the citizens of the United States dispose of more than 242.96 million tons of solid waste each year, 55%-65% of which comes from single-family residences. With a national recycling rate of just 33.8%, such disposal unnecessarily burdens the state’s landfills and contributes to pollution and climate change by emitting greenhouse gases such as CO2 and methane.3

The Lisle Park District is excited to add this new partnership with USAgain to their green initiatives in an effort to become an eco-friendly leader within the greater Lisle Community. As of July 2014, the Lisle Park District has donated over 500 used athletic shoes, which will be recycled into athletic running tracks and playground surfaces. In addition, the Lisle Park District has partnered with residents to collect crayons that are recycled into new crayons and, also, collects newspapers, magazines, shopping catalogs, office/school papers and mail. Bins are located at the Lisle Community Center (1825 Short Street).

Each winter, between November-January, the Lisle Park District encourages residents to recycle their old holiday lights, and every spring, they offer free, secure, on-site paper shredding at Lisle’s Largest Free Paper Shred Event, which will be held on Saturday, April 18, 2015 from 9am-12pm next year. Mark your calendars now!

The Lisle Park District provides a variety of leisure activities for people of all ages throughout the year. Park district facilities include Lisle Community Park; the Recreation Center which houses Gentle Learning Preschool, SEASPAR, the Senior Center, and multipurpose rooms; Sea Lion Aquatic Park; River Bend Golf Course; Wheatstack – A Midwestern Eatery & Tap and numerous neighborhood playgrounds and parks offering amenities such as tennis courts, ball fields, walking paths and picnic areas totaling close to 400 acres. It is the mission of the Lisle Park District to enrich the quality of life for people of all ages by providing constructive and creative leisure opportunities. For more information about the Lisle Park District, please call 630-964-3410 or visit

3 Ordinance Amending the Municipal Code of the City/Village – Recycling Bins