After a break in the program, Simple Recycling has returned to southwest Oakland County. The program provides a way for residents to discard unwanted clothing and household items.

After a break in the program, Simple Recycling has returned to southwest Oakland County. The program provides a way for residents to discard unwanted clothing and household items.

Photo provided by RRRASOC


Simple Recycling program returns to Oakland County

By: Jacob Herbert | C&G Newspapers | Published July 29, 2021

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OAKLAND COUNTY — One of the more popular programs in southern Oakland County has recently returned after a long pause due to COVID-19.

Simple Recycling is a program that allows residents to place unwanted clothing, shoes, accessories and other household items, such as kitchenware, tools, toys and books, at the curb to be picked up the same day and sent to local resale shops. The program has returned to the nine member communities within the Resource Recovery and Recycling Authority of Southwest Oakland County. Those communities include Farmington, Farmington Hills, Milford Township, Novi, South Lyon, Southfield, the village of Milford, Walled Lake and Wixom.

“We’re very excited to have it back. It’s a very popular program, it was unfortunate that it had to be suspended, but there was no downstream movement of material,” said RRRASOC General Manager Mike Csapo. “Many of the stores where Simple Recycling would deliver the clothes were closed. There was just no opportunity to move the material, particularly if there was a need to ship the material overseas. But a lot of people have been asking when we will resume, and here we are.”

According to Csapo, studies show that Americans have about 80 pounds of used clothing that they discard every year that doesn’t get donated and ends up going to a landfill. The Simple Recycling program is designed to mitigate the amount of clothing that goes to a landfill by providing a convenient way for residents to discard those items.

All those interested in participating in the program have to do is schedule a pickup time online at simplerecycling.com and place their items outside by 7:30 a.m. on the day of the pickup, and Simple Recycling will take care of the rest.

“They will come to your home and pick up unwanted clothing, shoes, accessories and other usable household items,” Csapo said. “The material is then taken to a resale shop, one of many in southeast Michigan. If it’s not something that the shop thinks they would sell, they would be transported to other resale markets, typically overseas. Anything that’s not sellable is recycled.”

As the program resumes, with it come changes. First off, residents no longer have to wait for their scheduled weekly recycling day. On top of going online to the Simple Recycling website, residents can schedule a pickup day and time by visiting RRRASOC.org or by calling (866) 835-5068.

The second change coming to the program has to do with the orange Simple Recycling bags that used to be necessary for pickup. Items can now be placed in waterproof bags or boxes marked “Simple Recycling.” Finally, those boxes or bags no longer need to be placed at the curb. Residents have the option to place their boxes on the porch or in front of the garage the morning of the scheduled pickup day.

Southfield Mayor Ken Siver is among the many who are excited to see the program return to Southfield and its neighboring communities as it provides yet another avenue for convenient recycling.

“We wanted this program. We signed up for it, and we’re very glad to have it back, because this diverts stuff from landfills, which is very important to us,” Siver said. “For years, most residents had worn-out towels or clothing that you couldn’t take to a flea market or a resale shop. A lot of them were just thrown in the trash, and some of those fabrics don’t disintegrate very fast, so this is just another step in our efforts to save the planet.”

Siver said the only solution to saving the planet is that everybody has to be a part of it and programs like Simple Recycling are entrenched in the fight against climate change. The mayor said Southfield is still struggling with residents who don’t see the need to recycle.

“I think we’ve made it as easy as we can by having single-stream recycling where you can put plastic, glass, metal and paper all in one bin unlike in the old days when you had to sort them,” he said. “Simple Recycling just adds another dimension to what we’re trying to avoid, which is all this stuff going to landfills.”

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