FAIRFIELD — The Kennebec Valley Council of Governments (KVCOG) is pleased to announce a new addition to our lineup of environmental management programs. Through a new partnership with Apparel Impact, a textile recovery and recycling company based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, KVCOG will begin the implementation of 12 new collection points in nine communities throughout Kennebec and Somerset Counties beginning on Monday, Aug. 10.  These collection points are being provided to KVCOG’s communities at no cost, and will be maintained by Apparel Impact.

At these collection points, members of the local community may off any unwanted textile item at no cost. Clothing, bedding, towels, bags, purses, shoes, hats and much more can all be placed within the collection bins and therefore be kept out of the local landfill.

“Apparel Impact then collects these items and ensures that items in usable condition are donated to those in need right here in Northern New England,” stated KVCOG Environmental Planner Gabriel Gauvin. “Rather than sending these items into the waste stream, Apparel Impact ensures unusable items are recycled, becoming a textile commodity which can be made into usable fiber and return to the manufacturing supply chain.”  

The new partnership with Apparel Impact will add collection points in Athens, Chelsea, Fayette, Hartland, Madison, Pittsfield, Skowhegan, Wayne and Winslow. An interactive map showing all 20-plus collection points in KVCOG’s region is available on the Kennebec Valley Council of Governments website www.kvcog.org. A full list of every Apparel Impact collection point is also available on their website.

“This partnership with Apparel Impact comes at a good time for our region,” stated KVCOG Executive Director Dr. Laura Cyr. “At a time when many towns are working to balance a budget impacted by the effects of COVID-19, a program like this can truly help to lighten the load.”

Textiles make up close to 6 percent of the average municipal waste stream and translates to tens of millions of tons in the waste stream every year in the United States alone. Even the most rural communities add hundreds of tons of textiles into their waste stream yearly. By removing these items from our everyday trash, we save space in the landfill, reduce environmental risks, and save taxpayer dollars. Furthermore, partnering with a company such as Apparel Impact ensures these items will benefit those in need or be recycled into usable materials.

KVCOG is a private, non-profit organization established in 1967 as a membership organization and is owned and operated for the benefit of its members. The Council is enabled by state statue.

KVCOG provides a coordinated approach for planning and economic development at the local and regional level and has been a leader in economic development, environmental, land use and transportation planning with a wide array of professional talent among staff for the past 50 years.

With its office located in Fairfield, KVCOG serves 62 municipalities, several unorganized territories, 5,251 square miles and a population of approximately 182,000 throughout the Kennebec Valley region of Maine within Kennebec, Somerset and western Waldo Counties. Our region is connected by the Kennebec River and includes the state capital of Augusta as well as the cities of Waterville, Gardiner and Hallowell, as well as many rural towns (municipal population ranges from 42 to 18,972).Learn more on our website www.kvcog.org or follow us on Facebook (@KennebecValleyCOG) and Instagram (@kennebecvalleycouncilofgov).