Goodwill Puts the Tech in Textile Recycling

Goodwill Puts the Tech in Textile Recycling

GoBIN or go home Tech makes textile recycling easier than ever

Jeb Brack
  • 21 september 2015

How many pounds of clothes do you throw away in a year? How many pairs of shoes, old purses, or outfits do you discard? On average, Americans send about 70 pounds of textiles to the landfill each year, roughly 5 per cent of the total volume of waste. In San Francisco, Goodwill plans to reduce that number to zero in the next five years with goBIN, a tech-enabled textile recycling bin that makes clothing donation and recycling easier than ever before.


Before now, donating old clothes required a trip to a collection point, especially for those people who required a receipt for tax purposes. For those who live in cities and may not have their own transportation, this could be difficult and time-consuming. By placing goBINs in large apartment complexes, city dwellers need not travel farther than their lobby to do a good deed.

The goBINs have a QR code on the side, allowing users to scan and receive a receipt form. Furthermore, a sensor inside the bin monitors the amount of donated items and alerts Goodwill when it’s time for a pickup to avoid overfilling.

“We’ll target putting a Goodwill goBIN in every big apartment and condo building in the city within five years to make donating textiles an everyday convenience,” SFGoodwill CEO Maureen Sedonaen said.

The bins themselves are constructed of recycled materials and designed by global product strategy and design firm frog.

“We were inspired by the idea of creating a bin that added to the character of a building while providing great concierge service. The form factor is friendly, welcoming the donor with a smile,” explained frog creative director Peter Michaelian.


SF Goodwill CEO Maureen Sedonaen at the launch of the goBIN.

The program launched in earnest in July, when Goodwill installed the first goBIN at Kilroy Realty Corporation’s 201 Third Street commercial building in San Francisco. The pilot phase of the project will include over 100 bins placed around the city, after which the design may be offered for use by Goodwill in other locations nationwide.


Holding basket of clothes via Shutterstock

+fashion / apparel

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