Clothing recycling bags causing confusion in Chicopee, East Longmeadow

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Some people in Chicopee have noticed pink packages in their mailboxes recently.

 The front reads “Brought to you by the Chicopee Dept. of Public Works.” The instructions say to fill the bag with clothing, shoes, or accessories, and leave it out on the curb on recycling day. Clear instructions, but what happens to the items after they’re picked up? That’s what’s causing confusion. 

“I think they should explain, like you either have the option to do this, or explain where it’s going,” said Mike Price of Chicopee. 

“By the package, it doesn’t really seem like it’s going anywhere charitable or that it’s going to help people in need, anything like that,” added Donald Neveu, a Chicopee resident. 

And it’s not only in Chicopee where people are receiving these bags. A similar program is set to begin on Dec. 3 in East Longmeadow. Both recycling programs are with Simple Recycling – a for-profit company that collects and sorts the items. Depending on the quality, they will either resell to thrift shops, export the clothes internationally, or process them for raw materials, according to Simple Recycling.

People who received the bags told 22News they wish something else was being done with the recycled items. 

“I’d rather see it go to the homeless or the needy, something else,” said Chicopee resident John Riendeau. 

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