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Indiana Bones

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bibliogrrl
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Here's What Goodwill Actually Does With Your Donated Clothes

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As part of HuffPost’s “Reclaim” project, HuffPost Style will focus the month of September on simple ways to educate yourself on becoming a better consumer.



Giving away used clothes may sound simple: You drop them off at a donation center, and then they’re sold to somebody who can re-use them. Right? 


Not quite. In reality, donated clothing often takes a much longer journeybefore meeting its ultimate fate. In the end, it may get re-sold. But it also may end up in the trash, joining the more than 12 million pounds of American textile wastethat was sent to landfills during 2013. And that benefits no one.


Goodwill is one of the biggest U.S. landing points for donated clothes: Stores in New York and New Jerseyalone collected more than 85.7 million pounds of textile donations last year, Jose Medellin, director of communications for Goodwill NY/NJ, told HuffPost. And his Goodwill region is just one of 164 regional Goodwill organizationsacross the U.S. and Canada.


As you’re probably starting to realize, it takes a ton of effort to guide your clothes from the Goodwill donation bin to their final resting place. Knowing how Goodwill works can help you make smarter decisions when deciding if another jeans purchase is really worth it for you, for the donations staff and for the environment. 


Step 1: The Goodwill retail store


Goodwill operates more than 3,200 individual stores, Kyle Stewart, director of donated goods retail, told HuffPost. When you donate a bag of clothing at a store, workers most likely parse through it to determine what can be sold and what can’t: Wet or mildew-y clothes are eliminated, but everything else is fair game. 


Ray Tellez, the vice president of retail operations for Goodwill Southern California, said stores in his region track how long each piece of clothing has been on the retail floor. If an item doesn’t sell within four weeks, it’s sent onward in the process.



Step 2: A Goodwill outlet


Yup, even Goodwill has outlets. Whatever doesn’t sell on the retail floor goes to a separate “Buy the Pound” outlet storeor a 99 cent Goodwill store. Prices are kept ultra-low to encourage purchases, Tellez said.


At these stores, “the goal is to liquidate,” he told HuffPost. “We want to try and keep as much out of the landfill as possible.”




Step 3: Auction


Whatever isn’t sold in outlets moves on to Goodwill auctions, live events where attendees bid on bins of donated items without knowing precisely what’s inside. An auction bin might sell for as low as $35, which is a stellar value, according to Tellez.


Step 4: Textile Recyclers


Then comes the big move: If clothes weren’t able to sell in those first three stages of the process, Goodwill sends them to textile recycling organizations, Stewart said.  


S.M.A.R.T. , for example, is a trade association is one such organization whose independent member businesses work to recycle textiles. companies work to give clothing new life. On average, 45 percent of clothing that makes it to S.M.A.R.T. is either re-sold into the U.S. used clothing industry or sent overseas into markets with more demand, spokesperson marketing director Kathy Walsh told HuffPost.


But this isn’t necessarily a good thing. Obviously, re-selling clothes into the U.S. secondhand market just encourages them to make the cycle all over again. And sending clothes overseas can majorly hinder the textile industries in developing countries, robbing locals of jobs and income.


Beyond that, 30 percent of donated clothes at S.M.A.R.T. get cut into rags for industrial use, and 20 percent is processed into a soft fiber filling for furniture, home insulation, car sound-proofing and more.


But what about landfills?


If S.M.A.R.T. recyclers find clothes that are wet, moldy or contaminated, they send them to landfills, Walsh said. The amount they send is small ― just five percent of all donations ― but it all adds up to the ridiculous amount of clothing waste in landfills nationwide. 


According to Walsh, nearly 95 percent of all clothing waste could be reused and recycled. We just aren’t disposing of it properly.


For starters, you should never, ever throw your clothes in the garbage, Medellin says. Instead, take them to a Goodwill or other donation center. If they’re wet, moldy or otherwise hazardous, then contact your city’s sanitation department and ask how best to dispose of them. 


Of course, the easiest way to prevent clothing waste is to avoid buying clothes you don’t need. Keep a clean closet, and a cleaner planet will be waiting for you later.


More stories like this:


This Family Went A Whole Year Without Buying New Clothes


These African Countries Don’t Want Your Used Clothing Anymore


The ‘Chilling’ Moment This Father Realized Where His Kids’ Clothes Come From


Before Buying More Clothes At H&M, Read This


Something To Think About Before Donating Your Clothes


This Company Is Basically A Hospital For Sad, Damaged Clothes


Why This Company Wants You To Fall In Love With People’s Old Jeans

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



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bibliogrrl
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Why is American Cuisine So Pervasively Sweet?

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“Why is American cuisine so pervasively sweet?” asked Naomi Duguid three years ago, the last time we sat down for a chat. For those of you who don’t know Naomi Duguid, she is the author of a series of cookbooks that depend on her sallying forth into interesting and often dangerous regions and to an […]
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bibliogrrl
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What danah boyd said (personal)

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I'd like you all to read a piece by danah boyd entitled There was a bomb on my block. Go read it, then follow me below the fold for an explanation of why I think you should have done so.

I have some experience of terrorism. I was a grad student living in central London during the 1970s IRA bombing campaign. My father worked at Harrods, which was later the target of two successful bomb attacks, in 1983 and 1993. During the 1970s campaign he was in charge of the store's response to the numerous bomb threats it received. He worked out that, given that most of the threats were bogus, evacuating the store for each of them would cause more casualties than would an occasional bomb going off in the building. So he designed and the store implemented a plan by which staff would search the entire building in, as I recall, less than three minutes. If anything suspicious was found, that area would be evacuated. As a result, the 1974 bomb was successfully defused. The two later bombs that did explode were outside the building.

In 2001 my brother had a business partner who had just left Cantor Fitzgerald. On September 11 that man lost almost all of his close friends.

On July 7, 2005 the headlines in the morning papers were that London had been chosen over Paris as the site of the 2012 Summer Olympics. That morning I was meeting with colleagues at University College, London, just around the corner from Tavistock Square where the 4th bomb of the day went off, killing 13 of the 52 victims of the day. We knew about the earlier bombs and, as Londoners, were familiar with the sound of a bomb. When we heard it we looked at each other and said "that was close, we need to get away from here". One of my colleagues was disabled, and had parked his car in a reserved parking spot just outside. As we rushed out of the building, on the pavement, I bumped into a man walking rapidly away from the square. He was dead-panning to his companion "It must have been the French". We all laughed.

boyd's post starts:
I live in Manhattan, in Chelsea, on 27th Street between 6th and 7th, the same block in which the second IED was found. It was a surreal weekend, but it is increasingly becoming depressing as the media moves from providing information to stoking fear, the exact response that makes these events so effective.
Exactly. The whole point of terrorist bombings is to get the media to react as the US media have since 9/11, and as in general the British media have not. The goal of a terrorist incident is to generate terror (i.e. intense fear), hence the name. boyd is understating the problem when she writes:
Traditional news media has a lot of say in what it publishes. This is one of the major things that distinguishes it from social media, which propagates the fears and anxieties of the public. And yet, time and time again, news media shows itself to be irresponsible, motivated more by the attention and money that it can obtain by stoking people’s fears than by a moral responsibility to help ground an anxious public.
The moral responsibility is rather not to assist the terrorists in their aim of causing terror. Of course, it is easier for the London media because London Can Take It! The city is used to terrorist incidents, which have taken place somewhat regularly over at least the last century and a half. They all pale into insignificance because the city remembers that:
From 7 September 1940, ... London was systematically bombed by the Luftwaffe for 57 consecutive nights. More than one million London houses were destroyed or damaged and more than 40,000 civilians were killed, almost half of them in London.
The correct response to bombings, whether by the Luftwaffe or the allied air forces, the IRA or ISIS-inspired loners is Keep Calm and Carry On. And, if possible, do as the gentleman I bumped into did, and make jokes about the bombs. The media "feeding the trolls" makes that really hard, and thus helps the bombers.
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acdha
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“The whole point of terrorist bombings is to get the media to react as the US media have since 9/11” … as cynically encouraged by the Bush administration staffers who knew they wouldn't otherwise get the war they'd been planning to start well before 9/11
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bibliogrrl
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Library Worker Heroically Defends Patron's Free Speech, Is Brutally Arrested in Library Where He Works

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“For someone to be assaulted and then arrested for asking a question, in a public library of all places, is abhorrent. The library should be a place where people of all points of view can feel safe and welcome,” Steve Woolfolk, director of public programing at the Kansas City Public Library told the Dissent NewsWire.

But that is exactly what happened during a question and answer session with former Bush Administration official and current AIPAC distinguished fellow Dennis Ross, when a local activist was arrested after asking Ross a question.

“I have spent the last 10 years of my life trying to cultivate that atmosphere through public programming at the library. Library staff should be the final arbiters of what constitutes reasonable discourse at a public event held inside a public library,” Woolfolk explained to the Dissent NewsWire. Yet, when he tried to intervene on the questioner’s behalf, Woolfolk found himself arrested at an event he helped plan.

The Kansas City Public Library is no stranger to hosting events, sometimes with controversial speakers. According to Woolfolk, the library hosts about 12 to 20 events a month and in the past has featured such speakers as Sandra Day O’Connor, Stephen Breyer, Dan Rather, Hal Holbrook, Robert Reich, and David Boaz. While Woolfolk does not like bringing armed security into the library, he notes that the library will make exceptions for talks that are particularly controversial. However, in spite of hosting several controversial speakers in the past or having audience members asking highly incendiary questions, the library has never had a problem. Woolfolk explains that when someone goes on for too long at the microphone, he merely politely reminds them that there are many others waiting for a chance to ask a question, a tactic he says has worked successfully in the past.

On May 9, 2016, the Kansas City Public Library hosted an event entitled “Truman and Israel,” featuring Ross, and sponsored  by the library, the Truman Library Foundation, and the Jewish Community Foundation (JCF) of Greater Kansas City. Given that there had been a shooting at the Jewish Community Center in Kansas City several years back, the library agreed to allow off-duty police to be on the scene. However, the library set two conditions. First, nobody could be forcibly removed for asking an unpopular question. Second, nobody could be removed at all without consulting with the library staff, who would only allow an individual to be removed if staff concluded they were an imminent threat. In addition to the off-duty police officers, private security guards associated with the JCF were also present. In spite of these precautions, a local peace activist, Jeremy Rothe-Kushel, was removed. When Woolfolk tried to sort things out he was arrested.

According to Rothe-Kushe, he believes he was singled out due to his outspoken activism as soon as he had arrived at the event. Rothe-Kushel, who had RSVP’ed in advance, alleges that security subjected him and an associate to more rigorous security protocols, including a search of his bag, that the other hundreds of attendees were not made to endure.

After Ross’s presentation, the floor was opened to the audience for questions. Woolfolk stood just off-stage, in case there was any question about removing someone. Rothe-Kushel was first in line and managed to ask Ross a question. After Ross answered, Rothe-Kushel, who was still standing at the microphone at this time, attempted to offer his own response to Ross. A private security guard grabbed Rothe-Kushel, who asked the guard not to touch him, before being grabbed more aggressively. At this point, one of the off-duty police officers came over, and according to Woolfolk three different individuals were grabbing Rothe-Kushel. Woolfolk walked over, and with his hands at his sides, stood between the security detail and Rothe-Kushel. He told the security detail that he was director of programming for the library and that Rothe-Kushel had indicated that the would leave voluntarily if asked to. The security detail let go of Rothe-Kushel and he left.

Woolfolk, from past experiences with off duty police, knew that the only thing they could arrest Rothe-Kushel for was trespassing. Woolfolk wanted to make clear that this was a public event at a public library and thus Rothe-Kushel was not trespassing. He went to find his supervisor, but before he could do so Woolfolk says an off-duty and out of uniform police officer grabbed him from behind and threw him against a pillar. Per Woolfolk, the officer never announced who he was or told Woolfolk he was under arrest, but just kept telling him to “stop resisting.” As Woolfolk told the Dissent NewsWire, he informed the officer, “I’d be happy to do whatever he wanted, and that all I was resisting was the urge to fall face first onto the floor.”  According to Woolfolk, a second police officer, this one in uniform, delivered several blows to Woolfolk’s knee, causing him to be diagnosed with grade 1 torn MCL. Eventually he was thrown over a chair and handcuffed. When he asked what he was being arrested for, the officer told him he didn’t know.

Woolfolk stands charged with interfering with the arrest of Rothe-Kushel. Rothe-Kushel, like Woolfolk feared, was charged with trespassing and resisting arrest. “Nobody, be it an individual or an agent of the state, should be able to take it upon themselves to silence a point of view simply because they disagree,” Woolfolk informed the Dissent NewsWire. Yet, it would appear that not only is that exactly what happened, but a librarian who tried to make sure that a public library remained a public forum was arrested, as well.

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bibliogrrl
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micdotcom: Watch: Jesse Williams is done with these excuses

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micdotcom:

Watch: Jesse Williams is done with these excuses

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angelchrys
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bibliogrrl
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adamcole
15 hours ago
I love that man with all my heart.
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