Austin gives curbside recycling a try

Austin Resource Recovery is making it easier for people to donate clothes and other goods starting in December.

It could get a little easier to donate clothes and other household goods.

“Residents will be able to put into the bags clothing and household goods. They could set that bag aside next to the blue cart on recycling day,”

The Austin Resource Recovery is partnering with the Simple Recycling organization to do this.

Things like shoes, accessories, fabric and stuffed toys can all be thrown into one of these green bags. The service will be free to residents.

“We're applying the convenience of traditional curbside recycling to this new category of material,” said Adam Winfield.

Non-profit giant Goodwill is not happy to hear about it. They think this could tamper with donation amounts now.

“We were a little surprised and frankly disappointed to hear this program was going to be coming about,” said Ana Rummer, communications manager, Goodwill Central Texas.

“We are incredibly reliant on donations of our community to fund education and our job training programs, said Rummer.

“People throw away this material because they're done with it, they don't have use for it. They don't have the time or interest to do something else with it,” said Winfield.

The city means well, citing this as part of their zero waste program. But some feel it can backfire for local stores.

“People are just going to think it's trash and they're going to put it out and not think about it again. People who live like that and consume like that, they're not going to go to thrift stores and buy anything,” said Sarah Somera, co-director, Treasure City Thrift Store.

Simple Recycling will pay 20 dollars per ton to the city. They will the clothes to local thrift shops and even internationally if need be.  They will start the collections on December 5.

Simple Recycling says they are not trying to sell to thrift giant "Goodwill" but the Goodwill still believes this directly impacts their donations either way. Folks who live in apartments can still participate. They can drop off clothes at the city's recycle drop off center.  At 2514 Business Center Drive in Austin.