Archives for USAgain Southern California

Clothing recycling on the rise in the Southern California area

USAgain’s 2013 textile recycling totals show continued growth

LAKE FOREST, CA. – Southern California area residents diverted 2.4 million pounds of clothing and shoes away from landfills in 2013, according to Lake Forest based textile recycler USAgain, demonstrating that convenience plays a key role in the continued growth of people recycling their unwanted clothing and shoes.

By diverting 2.4 million pounds of textiles from landfills, USAgain and its patrons saved 17.1 million pounds of CO­2 from entering the atmosphere, over 3.4 billion gallons of water, and 14,034 cubic yards of landfill space. That’s enough to fill 562 garbage trucks.

With more than 14,000 recycling locations nationwide, USAgain provides local communities with a convenient option for discarding their unwanted clothing in an environmentally responsible manner.

“It’s great to see continued progress toward textile recycling and a growing recognition of the importance of keeping textiles out of landfills, which saves our planet’s precious resources, said Mattias Wallander, CEO of USAgain. “We’re looking forward to making even greater strides toward reducing waste in 2014.”

Although nearly all clothing and shoes can be re-used, Americans currently recycle just 15 percent of their clothing, with the rest – a total of more than 11 million tons – ending up in the garbage, according to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“A big picture goal of ours is to partner with more schools, municipalities and businesses to increase the textile recycling rate to 75 percent,” Wallander said. “Doing this would bring tremendous impacts in terms of resources conserved and carbon dioxide sequestered.”

Nationally, a total of 56 million pounds of textiles were recycled by USAgain. In addition, USAgain planted more than 200,000 trees around the globe in 2013, most in partnership with Trees for the Future, an agroforestry organization. The trees will serve to sequester carbon emissions and repair damaged ecosystems, helping to make the planet a greener, more inhabitable place.

For 2013 recycling information specific to USAgain’s national divisions, visit


About USAgain

USAgain – a leader in the textile recycling, is a for-profit company that recycles and resells r clothing and other textiles. Its mission is to provide communities with a convenient and eco-friendly option to rid themselves of unwanted clothing and shoes, which is diverted from landfills. Recognized by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating, USAgain maintains more than 14,000 collection bins in 18 states.


Back-to-School the Eco-Friendly Way

Today is August 1st, and for students, the days of summer are officially numbered. Slowly, the days will become colder and shorter and before long, school buses will resume shuttling students to and from school. Before that, however, there will be lots and lots of back-to-school shopping.

Read more on the USAgain blog

Some Like It Hot – None Like It Expensive


Heating and cooling account for nearly half of household energy costs, which means an inefficient air conditioning unit could be putting a sizable dent into your personal finances. How, then, does one avoid paying too much for summer energy costs?


USAgain Announces Appointment of Nick Yagar as Division Manager for Southern California Operations

LAKE FOREST, CA – USAgain, the textile recycling company is proud to announce and welcome Nick Yagar as Division Manager for the company’s Southern California operations.

Nick joins USAgain with 20-plus years’ experience managing a business of laundry equipment in residential buildings in the Los Angeles area. During his successful tenure, Nick directed all the sales and business development efforts to grow and manage a business at 3,500 sites. This breadth of managerial experience makes Nick a natural fit and a true asset for leading the USAgain’s SoCal division.

“We’re very excited to welcome Nick to our team” says Mattias Wallander, CEO of USAgain. “Under his guidance, we look forward to a successful expansion of recycling operations in the area.”

Nick will serve an instrumental role in USAgain’s growth in Southern California, bringing tight focus on building stronger team and improving customer relations while expanding USAgain textile recycling programs in the local community.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the USAgain team,” says Yagar. “I look forward to leading the Southern California division toward our goal to be the premier clothing and shoe recycler in the region.”

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About USAgain
USAgain, a leader in the textile recycling industry, with corporate headquarters in Chicago, is a for-profit company that collects unwanted clothing and other textiles to keep them out of landfills. In 2012 alone, the company collected 58 million pounds of discarded clothing. USAgain operates over 10,000 collection bins in eighteen states. Their mission is to provide consumers with a convenient and eco-friendly option to rid themselves of excess clothing, which are then diverted from landfills. For more information, visit

USAgain Tree Planting
200,000 Trees in 2013

USAgain’s environmental commitment stretches beyond clothing and textile recycling. In 2013, USAgain is expanding its green initiative by launching a tree-planting campaign, which will result in 200,000 trees being planted in regions of Ethiopia, Kenya and Honduras. By partnering with Trees for the Future, an agroforestry resource center based in Maryland, much-needed trees will be planted in these impoverished, environmentally-ravaged areas.




A semi-arid, mountainous region in southwestern Ethiopia, Konso is the site of USAgain’s tree planting partnership with Trees for the Future, helping to expand two watershed restoration projects in the villages of Duraite and Lehaite. Since 2010, Trees for the Future has been helping to reverse systematic agricultural and overgrazing failures in the area, working to prevent the highly erosive soils in both villages from washing away each wet season.


Due to illegal activities, including timber harvesting, charcoal production, and fuel wood collection, Mount Kenya National Park experienced massive deforestation in the 1980s and 1990s. In an effort to reverse the negative effects deforestation has left on the region, nearly five million trees have been planted in and around Mount Kenya National Park, with USAgain contributing an additional 85,000 trees to be raised in six local nurseries.


Two areas in Honduras have been selected for the USAgain tree planting project. An important watershed, source of irrigation and a stop for migratory birds, the Corralito Wildlife Reserve will receive 20,000 seedlings in 2013. Las Lajas, a major hydroelectric resevoir that provides more than 40% of the electric power for Honduras, will receive 45,000 seedlings of various species in a project meant to reforest the surrounding area.

West Valley High School Fundraiser

USAgain SoCal helped West Valley High School in Hemet, CA organize a clothing drive fundraiser to raise money for new cheerleading uniforms. With our help, they managed to collect over 1,600 pounds of clothing, shoes and other textiles. Well done, ladies!


West Southern California recycling company gives new life to unwanted textiles

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WEST Southern California – After spending several years working with nonprofits in Central America and Africa, Mattias Wallander saw the need for clothes and other textiles there.

He also knew about the amount of clothing waste in the U.S. and the lack of initiative being taken to address it.

Together with his wife, he founded USAgain, a for-profit recycling company that collects unwanted textiles and distributes them for resale in marketplaces and thrift stores across the globe.

“We could see the need for finding a solution to keep the material out of landfills here, and, at the same time, the need to reuse that material in less-developed countries,” Wallander said.

USAgain started in Southern California in 1999, before expanding to Southern California and Atlanta in 2000. It now has locations throughout the U.S. The Southern California division’s branch is based in West Southern California. The company has more than 1,400 collection bins throughout the Southern California region.

USAgain accepts clothes, shoes, accessories and household textiles such as towels, sheets and curtains. Damaged items may be recycled, as long as they’re able to be repaired, which actually can create jobs in the countries where some items are shipped, Wallander said. If something is moldy or soiled with oil, however, it cannot be reused.

Once textiles are donated to USAgain, they are weighed, sorted and packed. They then are sold for cents on the pound to thrift stores or other sellers. About half of the textiles go overseas, and many items are sold by local entrepreneurs in marketplaces in Central America, Wallander said.

USAgain has collection bins in communities near West Southern California, including Wheaton.

The city of Wheaton adopted a series of regulations for collection bins in 2010 after holding several public hearings, said Tracy Jones, a staff planner with the city.

Besides the USAgain bins, there also are an assortment of other bins in the city for charities and for-profit companies, Jones said.

There is no permit process in place, but bin owners must comply with zoning ordinance regulations that define the appropriate size and location of bins. The regulations also state that the name and phone number of the bin owner must be posted.

Depending on how much typically is donated at a USAgain bin, textiles may be picked up daily, once a week or once every two weeks. Currently, about 200,000 pounds are collected each week from bins in the Southern California region, Wallander said.

Although the amount of textiles that are recycled has increased over the years, this is because people are consuming more than in the past, he said. Overall, the percentage of textiles that end up being recovered has stayed about the same.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, this was about 15 percent in 2010.

Wallander said there are benefits to recycling textiles, from job creation to environmental relief to support for poorer communities across the globe.

“We’re competing with the trash can,” Wallander said. “We’d like to see more people making the choice to reuse instead of trashing.”


Clothing recycling catching on among Southern California residents

Southern California residents diverted nearly 2.5 million pounds of clothing and shoes from landfills in 2012, the textile recycler USAgain announced today.

That amounts to 563 garbage trucks of clothing. It also saved more than 14,000 cubic yards of landfill space, more than 17 million pounds of carbon emissions and nearly 3.5 billion gallons of water in 2012.

Nationally, USAgain, a for-profit clothing recycling company, diverted nearly 58 million pounds of unwanted clothing and shoes last year that would have otherwise been thrown into the trash and ultimately buried in landfills.

“This was a major accomplishment in curbing the negative impact that irresponsible textile disposal can have on our environment,” said USAgain CEO Mattias Wallander. “More people are beginning to realize and understand the environmental benefits in seeking a convenient way to having their old clothing recycled and re-used instead of throwing it in the garbage.”

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans discard 85 percent of unwanted clothing and shoes into the trash each year, amounting to more than 11 million tons of textiles that get dumped in landfills.

“Considering 85 percent of all textiles end up in landfills, all of us need to do a better job of looking for ways to recycle and re-purpose clothing,” Wallander added. “But when zero-cost recycling options like USAgain and charitable organizations are accessible and convenient, we can have a positive impact on the environment.”

The 58 million pounds of clothing that USAgain recovered would fill 13,257 garbage trucks. It would also fill 52 football fields – or one football field a week – 1 yard deep with reusable material. Overall, USAgain saved nearly 332,000 cubic yards of landfill space, conserved 406 million pounds of carbon emissions and spared 81 million gallons of water in 2012.

“Textile recycling isn’t just a trend we’re noticing in one specific part of the country,” said Wallander, noting USAgain’s growth throughout the nation during the past year. “Recycling habits are catching on nationwide.”


About USAgain

USAgain – a leader in the textile recycling industry with corporate headquarters in West Chicago, IL. – is a for-profit company that recycles and resells reusable clothing and other textiles. Its mission is to provide consumers with a convenient and eco-friendly option to rid themselves of excess clothing, which is diverted from landfills. In 2012, USAgain was awarded an “A” rating by the Better Business Bureau. It maintains more than 10,000 collection boxes in 18 states and has nearly 200 employees. For more information, visit

Santa Monica Gets Ready to Clean Out Its Closets

By the Santa Monica Lookout Staff
Originally published August 9, 2012 at the Santa Monica Lookout

August 9, 2012 — Santa Monica residents will have two opportunities to get rid of their old stuff without wasting it.

This month, the City will join forces with USAgain to give residents a chance to recycle their shoes, clothes and other textiles, while in September, residents will have a chance to make some cash off their household junk at the 3rd Annual Citywide Yard Sale.

On August 18 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., USAgain — a Chicago-based textile recycling company — will be collecting clothes, shoes and textiles at the City Yards at 2500 Michigan Avenue.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Santa Monica to raise awareness about the need for increased textile recycling in the community,” said Mattias Wallander, CEO of USAgain. “Textile recycling is a huge issue in this country.”

According to the EPA, only 15 percent of Americans recycle or reuse the approximately 13.1 million tons of textiles discarded every year, Wallander said. The leaves 11.2 million tons of textiles “to be dumped in our nation’s landfills.”

Material collected by USAgain is sold wholesale to second hand shops, according to the company’s web site.

For those who require a more monetary incentive to get rid of their clutter, on September 22 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Santa Monicans will be encouraged to hold yard sales in front of their homes all throughout the City.

Hosted by the City’s Resource Recovery & Recycling Division, this “Fall Cleaning” event gives residents a chance to clear out their boxes and make some money while they’re at it.

“Residents and local organizations are encouraged to sign up and enjoy the benefits of a catalog listing their featured items and a resource list of charitable organizations accepting donations,” City officials said.

Sellers should register online at before September 14th, officials said. Then, on September 22, sellers only need to set up shop outside their homes.

For those interested in buying, a map of registered sellers — and what they will be selling — will be available on the same site.

“After collecting a wad of cash from your treasures, survey what is leftover and determine what can be donated to local organizations using the Reuse Resource List available online,” officials said.