Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Don’t throw out unwearable clothing

WORDTHRIFTWe all know to donate our good clothing to thrift shops, but what about the stuff that can’t possibly be sold — the stuff that’s stained or ripped? If you’re like me, you guiltily put it in the trash. So my inner environmentalist was happy to learn that Fresno has a recycling program for these types of clothes. I was doing an interview at Neighborhood Thrift at 353 Olive Ave., about their expansion into a new warehouse and it turns out the growth is because of its thriving clothing recycling program. Clothes that can’t be sold are packaged into 1,000-pound bales (you can see a video of the cool machine that does this here) by workers in a job-training program. Pillows, blankets, even puffy comforters are included too. They’re then sold to companies that turn them into carpet padding, insulation for car doors, oil filter and rags used by mechanics.

Neighborhood Recycling picks up unwanted clothing from 42 Valley thrift shops. You may want to call your favorite thrift shop to see if they do this type of recycling.

Update: The folks over at Goodwill have a similar program. Clothing there is recycled, but also sold to other thrift operations and overseas for people to wear. So any Goodwill donation spot can take your unwearable clothing too.

Fresno: The dirtiest city in the land, says Forbes

Forbes put out its “America’s Dirtiest Cities” list this morning, giving Fresno its “booby prize” for being the dirtiest and, in the process, not really telling us anything about our city that we didn’t already know.

Yes, Fresno has poor air quality. Yes, the water here isn’t the greatest — though Forbes uses a 10-year-old example when plenty has been written about the subject since then. From Forbes’ explainer:

The environmental degradation of the Central Valley has many contributing factors. First of all, its geography doesn’t do it any favors. It’s a big, long bowl surrounded on three sides by mountains that trap pollutants from cars and factories and oil fields in an inversion layer. Second, it’s a victim of what brought people there in the first place — rich fertile soils from which grow much of America’s fruits and vegetables. For decades farmers would burn leftover cuttings from their fields after the harvest — dumping massive amounts of lung-choking particulate matter into the air. Burning has been banned since 2004, and the air has gotten cleaner since then, but there’s still a long way to go.

Read more