FAQ

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What is Gemtext?

Gemtext is an Northwest-based sustainability company. We are passionate about helping people recycle their textiles and keep them out of landfills. We receive permission from property managers or business owners to place our recycling stations in parking lots of businesses, schools and churches. Gemtext accepts donated clothing, shoes, purses, belts and household linens, and then finds appropriate uses for the donated items. Nearly 98% of what is donated is usable!

What is Gemtext?

Gemtext is an Northwest-based sustainability company. We are passionate about helping people recycle their textiles and keep them out of landfills. We receive permission from property managers or business owners to place our recycling stations in parking lots of businesses, schools and churches. Gemtext accepts donated clothing, shoes, purses, belts and household linens, and then finds appropriate uses for the donated items. Nearly 98% of what is donated is usable!

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Does Gemtext compete with other charities that collect clothing?

Not at all. According to the EPA, 2.5 billion pounds of used clothing ends up in the landfill each year, and that’s in spite of charities and thrift stores best collection efforts. Many Americans donate their unwanted clothes to charities like Goodwill Industries, the Salvation Army, St. Vincent DePaul and other meaningful organizations.

Gemtext recognizes and applauds people’s generosity and personal charitable contributions. However, a recent Goodwill Industries study showed that most Americans would not drive more than 10 minutes out of their way to donate to Goodwill. That’s why having recycling stations in communities where people live and work is so important; convenience is critical to consumers.

At Gemtext, our goal is to make it effortless for residents to donate their unwanted textiles.

Why does recycling clothing and shoes matter?

Textiles take up nearly 8% of our country’s landfills – almost all of them take hundreds of years to de-compose. They actually take up more space in our landfill than any other non-durable goods in the solid waste system. When these items are recycled, the benefits are exponential. Recycling conserves raw materials and natural resources, and this means that less has to be extracted, refined, transported and

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processed. Energy is conserved that would have been used in the manufacturing process of new products. Decreased energy use results in smaller carbon footprints and decreased greenhouse gasses and emissions.

Why does recycling clothing and shoes matter?

Textiles take up nearly 8% of our country’s landfills – almost all of them take hundreds of years to de-compose. They actually take up more space in our landfill than any other non-durable goods in the solid waste system. When these items are recycled, the benefits are exponential. Recycling conserves raw materials and natural resources, and this means that less has to be extracted, refined, transported and processed. Energy is conserved that would have been used in the manufacturing process of new products. Decreased energy use results in smaller carbon footprints and decreased greenhouse gasses and emissions.

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Additionally, we all save money. Garbage bills decrease and we all pay less in taxes to support of landfills and solid waste disposal.

Recycling means jobs. Recycling provides jobs that support the local economy. When something is thrown into the landfill, it stays there. Instead, when textiles enter the sustainability cycle, dozens of industries and economies are impacted , and jobs are supported at each stage.

In addition, the Gemtext model provides usable clothing to the millions of poor in third world countries that they might not otherwise have access to. Some clothes collected in Gemtext recycling stations are sold in domestic thrift stores. What isn’t wearable gets turned into industrial rags or shredded for fibers.

What items does Gemtext accept and not accept?

  • Used clothing
  • Household linens
  • Paired Shoes
  • Stuffed Animals
  • Belts
  • Pocketbooks/purses
  • Towels
  • Stuffed Animals
  • High Chairs
  • Mattresses
  • Cribs
  • Oil soaked textiles
  • Car Seats
  • Carpeting
  • Furniture
  • Large Appliances
  • T.V.’s

Please place all acceptable items in a clean, tied bag when placing in the recycling staitons. This helps keep the items clean allowing for the highest quality recycling. Thank you!

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What happens to my items once it is collected from the recycling staitons?

All items are transported to the Gemtext collection facility and prepared for shipment and sorting. In larger regional warehouses, the clothing is sorted and graded. Those in good condition for domestic re-sale are sent to thrift stores in the US. Other clothes are targeted for markets in 2nd and 3rd world countries, where they are sold in open-air markets, bazaars, etc.. These shops are

not only an affordable source of clothing, but they create jobs in-country as well.

What happens to my items once it is collected from the recycling staitons?

All items are transported to the Gemtext collection facility and prepared for shipment and sorting. In larger regional warehouses, the clothing is sorted and graded. Those in good condition for domestic re-sale are sent to thrift stores in the US. Other clothes are targeted for markets in 2nd and 3rd world countries, where they are sold in open-air markets, bazaars, etc.. These shops are not only an affordable source of clothing, but they create jobs in-country as well.

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Some items are used in disaster relief by organizations (such as the American Red Cross) when large quantities of clothing are needed immediately. Other materials might be turned into industrial rags, fibers may be shredded so that they might be re-woven, and still others used for innovative second generation products such as playground chips, insulation, etc..

Some items are used in disaster relief by organizations (such as the American Red Cross) when large quantities of clothing are needed immediately. Other materials might be turned into industrial rags, fibers may be shredded so that they might be re-woven, and still others used for innovative second generation products such as playground chips, insulation, etc..

Are All Clothing and Textiles Really Recyclable?

Clothing recycling is one of the least wasteful of all recycling endeavors. 98% of what Gemtext collects is recycled. That means that only 2% of what is inside the recycling stations is truly trash. Everything else is put to use. The greatest portion of the clothes collected are recycled as second-hand clothing and distributed via domestic thrift stores or in third world countries. 25% is broken down for fibers and used in insulation or re-woven into new textiles. Approximately 20% is cut into cleaning and polishing clothes for industrial and warehouse uses.

Why would I want a recycling station at my business?

Gemtext is a professional recycling company and we make sure that our entire model adheres to the highest standards. We help partners evaluate potential placement locations and take care of all servicing and maintenance. This is all provided at NO COST to the business.

The recycling station is maintained in pristine condition and is fully insured. The recycling station  will be emptied no less than once per week based on items levels. Gemtext is responsible for cleanliness of the area within 10 feet of the recycling staiton, including snow and weed removal. The signs on the home have a 24 hour/7 day a week “hotline”, and our team services all calls within one hour. Gemtext recycling station occupy less than one parking space.

As America furthers its efforts in going “green”, recycling becomes more and more important. Benefits of hosting a Gemtext recycling recycling station  on your location include:

  • Your business helps lead the next innovation of recycling
  • Build patronage at your location as awareness of clothing recycling grows and people seek to shop where they are dropping off their recycling
  • Easy and convenient for your customers to recycle where they shop
  • Efficient opportunity to help the world’s poorest find affordable, usable clothing
  • Reduces environmental impact of clothing manufacturing
  • Reduces stress on landfills
  • Makes a positive statement about your business’ commitment to the community and environment
  • Benefits local children facing life-threatening medical conditions, Gemtext’s social responsibility platform

How often is the recycling station emptied/serviced?

All Gemtext recycling stations are visited on a weekly schedule by our professional drivers and baggers. We carefully monitor items levels to ensure that we are picking up items frequently enough to prevent overflow. Our drivers will always take everything left in and around the home and the recycling staiton will always be in pristine condition. Our drivers inspect the homes and immediately arrange for any necessary maintenance. We have a 24/7 number on every recycling staiton for any concern to be reported. To report a problem with our recycling station please call:

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In the Boise area:

208-515-3472

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In the Spokane area:

877-640-2906

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In the Oregon area:

877-425-2158

boise3

In the Boise area:

208-515-3472

spokane3

In the Spokane area:

877-640-2906

oregon3

In the Oregon area:

877-425-2158