Recycling Program Collects More than 23 Million Pounds of Donations
The United War Veterans Council (UWVC) Recycling Program, the largest reusables program of its kind in the metropolitan area, announced that it collected more than 23 million pounds (more than 115,000 tons) of clothing and household goods since launching in 2008, a tremendous milestone for the program.
The success achieved by UWVC Recycling is not only good for the environment and veterans, but metro area residents as well. In New York City for example, the program has exhibited multiple benefits:
• It helps the environment by keeping useable items out of landfills;
• It saves taxpayers nearly $150,000 per year in disposal costs;
• It helps veterans by providing revenue for UWVC programs;
• It allows people to take a tax deduction for donations of clothing and household goods.
In addition to the “white glove door-to-door pickup service” the program provides, UWVC Recycling leaders credit its success to the implementation of a true ‘closed-loop’ system, where items are collected and recycled by re-using them in their original forms. This closed-loop system is beneficial to the environment, as it does not contaminate the recycling stream and it is less expensive for municipalities and taxpayers. Programs using single stream recycling, which collect co-mingled, recyclable refuse and require higher processing costs due to sorting, lead to contaminated materials that end up in landfills.
Last year UWVC Recycling collected 1,488 tons (more than 2.9 million lbs.) of donated clothing and household goods, a 30 percent increase over 2013. Trash disposal costs New York City approximately $100 per ton, with the program saving taxpayers an estimated $148,800 by removing that burden from the City’s waste collection system. With greater cooperation from New York City, the existing operational infrastructure of the program is capable of more than doubling both collections and taxpayers’ savings.
“Our program is a win-win recycling option for veterans, the City, taxpayers and the environment,” said UWVC President Vincent McGowan. “With our program, we are able to fund initiatives for veterans while saving taxpayers money and I believe it can also be a major force in helping achieve the Zero Waste goals of OneNYC.”
“Single stream recycling has proven itself to be costly to the environment as it contaminates the recycling stream and it financially burdens all tax payers due to higher processing costs of contaminated items,” said Debra Menich who has led the UWVC Recycling Program since it began in 2008. “Our program offers concierge, door-to-door pick up service triggered simply by scheduling via a phone call or visit to our website. This sustainable social model is an ideal solution that benefits all: veterans, tax payers, municipalities and the environment.”
The UWVC Recycling program does not use collection bins. It provides a premium service by allowing residents or building managers to log on to uwvcpickup.org or call 888-821-UWVC (8982) to arrange a convenient pickup for clothing, textiles and household items.
UWVC Recycling picks up gently used clothing and household goods from homes and apartment buildings, providing metro-area residents with a convenient, effective way to give to our veterans. Proceeds benefit the UWVC’s mission to positively impact and serve the veterans community. With over 40,000 new veterans projected to join the 250,000-plus veterans already in the area, UWVC Recycling will play an important role in ensuring that these men and women receive the care and assistance they deserve.
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