Clothing and Textiles Recycling

Even though 95% of clothing and textiles can be reused and recycled, 85% end up going to the landfill. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in 2013, Americans sent 14.3 million tons of clothing to the landfill. Clothing and textiles include shirts, pants, socks, hats, scarves, belts, shoes, purses, jackets, blankets, rugs, carpet and stuffed animals.


Clothing Recycling

Although clothing and textiles are recyclable, they need special handling.  

  • Do not place clothing in your curbside yellow recycling cart.  
  • Clothing and textiles can get tangled in sorting machines for recycling.
  • Instead, consider repairing, reusing, or donating these items.


Please see the Clothing Recycling Resource List for local donation and reuse centers.


Participate in or host a clothing swap among families and friends to exchange clothes. Do an internet search for “clothing swap” or “clothing exchange” for additional information.

  • Donate used textiles to charitable organizations and give back to your community.
  • Many donations are tax-deductible. Some charities pick up items as long as they are clean and in re-usable condition.


Textile recycling shreds and repurposes raw material into:

  • furniture padding;
  • car and home insulation;
  • loudspeaker cones;
  • flooring;
  • packaging; and 
  • cushioning in stuffed toys, insoles, and bags.

Donated clothing not used by charities are sold to clothing buyers or sent to recycling facilities for processing. Recycle your clothing and textiles. Do your part to help conserve resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, extend the life of landfills and create a healthy environment for today and future generations.

If you need assistance with recycling or additional information, please Contact Us.



External Links

Stockton Recycles 

California Materials Exchange (CalMAX Portal)

Council for Textile Recycling

Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles (SMART) Association



This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 8/11/2022