How Does Fiber Recycling Work?

How Does Fibers Recycling Work?

Posted On: September 14, 2022 Categories:

When you think of recycling, you no doubt imagine recycling cardboard boxes after your online order arrives or turning in plastic bottles to a recycling center for the California refund value. These are both incredibly important ways to reduce the amount of garbage in landfills, but they’re only the beginning. You can also recycle fibers!


Table of Contents

  • Why Recycled Fibers Are so Beneficial
  • Understanding the Basics of Fiber Recycling
    • Step 1 Sorting
    • Step 2 Pulling
    • Step 3 Cleaning
    • Step 4 Re-Spinning
  • Fiber Recycling in Orange County


Why Recycled Fibers Are so Beneficial

By now, we all know that waste is bad for our environment. Plastic straws and other single-use plastics are not the only everyday items ending up in landfills and threatening the health of our beautiful planet. It isn’t just about aesthetics, as if this weren’t enough. Making, making, making, and then throwing everything away also accelerates the climate crisis. Clothing, fabric, and other textiles are a huge culprit of environmental issues, as well. 


Just like glass, plastic and cardboard- fabric, fibers, and other textiles do not have to be thrown out in the trash. They can actually be recycled and reused several times.We’re talking about fibers recycling!


Understanding the Basics of Fibers Recycling

The Basics of Fibers Recycling

Nearly every kind of fabric can be recycled. Donation is one form of recycling fabric, but fabric can also be recycled in other ways. For natural textile recycling, the process is:

Step 1 Sorting

You can recycle even your grossest, oldest pair of underwear! The incoming unwearable material is sorted by type of material and color. Color sorting results in a fabric that does not need to be re-dyed. The color sorting means no re-dying is required, saving energy and avoiding pollutants.

Step 2 Pulling

Fibers are then pulled into fibers or shredded. They sometimes introduce other fibers into the yarn at this point. The materials are shredded or pulled into new fibers, making yarn. 

Step 3 Cleaning

The yarn is then cleaned and mixed through a carding process.

Step 4 Re-Spinning

The fibers are ready! At the last stage, the yarn is re-spun and ready for subsequent use in weaving or knitting. 


Some fibers are not spun this way, however. Others are compressed for textile filling such as in mattresses.


Fibers Recycling in Orange County

According to the Council for Textile Recycling, the average American citizen discards 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles per year. That is a shocking enough statistic! In addition to this, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates textile waste makes up for nearly 5 percent of all landfills.


Ensuring that your fabrics are in the correct recycling condition means they are both clean and dry. They don’t need to be pretty or even wearable. Do your part to fight against this serious issue by bringing your old and unwanted clothes for fibers recycling at OC Recycling.

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