American Recycler News, Inc.


Students participate in poster contest

The Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) reported that more than 12,000 elementary school teachers visited the “Wear It? Recycle It!” program hosted on the SMART website this past school year. The “Wear It? Recycle It!” program allowed teachers to access and utilize lesson plans designed to promote clothing and textile recycling. The “Wear it? Recycle It!” lesson plans were introduced in October 2012.

SMART officials estimate that 323,400 students and 12,900 teachers used the “Wear It? Recycle It!” lesson plans and 90 entries were received in a related poster design contest. The entire program, including online micro-website, print and digital promotion, generated a total of more than 2,546,000 impressions during the duration of the program.

SMART developed the “Wear It? Recycle It!” educational program in conjunction with The Education Center to present information on clothing and other textiles as recyclable products. The grade-appropriate educational materials showed students that clothing and other textiles can be recycled just like items in their homes they currently recycle such as paper, plastic, glass and aluminum.

The supplemental lessons are a comprehensive program that teaches students they can recycle more than just their old jeans and t-shirts and that many items they use every day are made from recycled clothing and textiles.

In addition to the lesson plans, the “Wear It?, Recycle It!” educational program also included a poster design contest. SMART received 90 entries from schools across the U.S. The posters showed the benefits of textile recycling, especially recycling their used clothing. First-grader, Islam Hassan, from AQSA Elementary School in Bridgeview, Illinois, was named the winner of the Kindergarten – 2nd grade division. Traley Haubert, a 3rd grader at Phillips Elementary School in Phillips, Wisconsin, won poster design contest in the 3rd-5th grade division. The objective of the poster contest was for the students to depict what “Donate, Recycle, Don’t Throw Away” means to them after learning more about textile recycling.

The winners received 10 t-shirts and 10 posters with their winning drawing on it for their family and friends, one t-shirt and one poster for the principal and one t-shirt and one poster for the teacher. The t-shirts used in making the shirts were made from 100 percent recycled textiles. SMART’s president, Lou Buty, and vice president, Jeff Pearl, selected the winning poster entries.

The educational materials remain available to teachers and the public and can be accessed via the SMART website at