Clothing and Textile Recycling
Recycle your textiles at one of our drop-off locations, a hazardous waste day event, or right from your home. Learn more about our services and schedule your curbside textile pickup below.
In compliance with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s policy, beginning November 1, the City of Boston will not accept clothing and textiles in curbside trash.
To help residents comply with this state policy, the City of Boston offers two options for residents to dispose of their unwanted clothing and textiles:
- drop boxes conveniently located throughout the City, and
- weekend curbside textile collection.
Items that are soiled, wet, or moldy should still be placed in your curbside trash for collection.
Have questions? Contact:Public Works
1 CITY HALL SQUARE, ROOM 714
BOSTON, MA 02201
Accepted Clothing and TextilesAccepted Textiles
For re-wear, reuse, and recycling, we accept the following items in any condition so long as they are clean, dry, and odorless. Everything should be kept dry in a closed, plastic bag. Recycling your clothes shouldn’t be hard, we’re here to help!
- Flip Flops
- Boots (work boots, dress boots, winter boots)
- Dish cloths
- Cloth napkins
- Table linens
- Sports jerseys
- Stuffed animals
- Tops (t-shirt, blouses, shirts, tank tops)
- Outerwear (coats, jackets, blazers)
- Bottoms (pants, slacks, jeans, sweatpants, skirts, shorts)
- Baby clothing
- Bags (pocketbooks, backpacks, duffle bags, totes)
- Wet items
- Moldy items
- Dirty items
- Bulky items
Curbside Textile Recycling CollectionCurbside Collection
This drop-off program is made possible thanks to our partner, HELPSY.
This is a Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s policy that takes effect starting November 1, 2022. The City of Boston already has programs for recycling unwanted clothing and textiles, such as drop boxes and weekend curbside collection.
No, soiled items must be washed before being placed in one of our drop-boxes. If they cannot be cleaned, they should be placed in your trash bin for trash collection. Do not place any soiled or moldy items in drop-boxes or out for curbside collection, they will contaminate clean items that are able to be recycled.
No, there will be no fines for non-compliance.
After you drop-off your textiles, they are examined by hand. About 50 percent of items are resold. Another 25 percent are cut into wiping rags for use in many different industries. The least-useful 25 percent will be ground into insulation and reused.
First schedule your curbside collection appointment, and make sure to check our accepted items list. Please make sure all of your items are dry, clean, and free of mildew or mold. Place unwanted clothing and textile items in a plastic bag, tie the bag, and label it with “clothing, or Helpsy”. Place your bag out on your doorstep on your scheduled collection day.
More than seven percent of waste produced in Boston is made up of clothing, curtains, towels, and other fabrics. About 85 percent of these items currently being thrown away can be donated, reused, or recycled.
We’ve tripled service since first placing drop boxes throughout the City. If you do see an overflowing bin, email firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be serviced within 24 hours.
Our goal is to continue to expand the program over time. We are now collecting textile waste curbside. Scroll to the top of this page to schedule your curbside collection appointment.
Clothing collected curbside and put in drop-boxes are picked up by our partner Helpsy. Helpsy recycles the clothing and textiles. If you want to donate your clothes, reach out to local Boston nonprofit organizations that accept donations.