- Goodwill San Francisco and thermoformer Ray Products Inc. have teamed up to distribute modern donation bins throughout the county, as reported by Plastics News.
- The goBins are designed for use in high-traffic indoor areas such as apartment buildings and office complexes. Units can include smart bin technology such as QR sensors which donors can scan for an email receipt and sensors to notify collection teams when the bins are full.
- The original concept was funded in part by a $50,000 from San Francisco's Department of the Environment as part of a textile waste awareness campaign.
The goBin originally debuted in 2014 after frog, a global design and strategy firm, developed the concept pro bono. San Francisco residents tend to drive less, which meant Goodwill wasn't getting enough quality donations such as shirts, pants, dresses or shoes. After the prototypes proved successful, Goodwill San Francisco started selling its patent-protected bins to other operations throughout the country and Ray Products began working on the first units earlier this year.
The average person in the U.S. throws away anywhere from 70 to 80 pounds of textiles every year and efforts to recover that material are still evolving. While H&M stores and some major cities now collect textiles, national diversion rates are low. Companies such as Levi Strauss & Co. are working to make new products out of recycled textiles, but the process still isn't cost-effective on a large scale.
Making it easier for consumers to donate high-quality material by bringing the receptacle to them will enable more companies to eventually make textile recycling a closed-loop process.