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City Expands Recycling Program

City Expands Recycling Program
Beginning on November 15, 2019, city of Allentown residents will be able to recycle their clothing and electronics from their doorstep.

Allentown is offering this service through a one-year pilot program with retrievr, the first software service designed to make curbside recycling of these items as simple as a text message, to schedule an appointment. While this service is free for most items, there are fees to collect TVs and CRT computer monitors.

According to the Wall Street Journal, consumers wear only 20% of the clothes in our closets on a regular basis. New smartphones are purchased every 2-3 years when the latest operating system upgrade makes the “old” one too slow, and the old phones land in a drawer.

Most of these goods, such as clothing, footwear and electronics, are recyclable and yet they clutter our homes or wind up in a landfill. Offering easy and convenient curbside pick-up is a better option.

That’s precisely what Mayor Ray O’Connell had in mind when engaging retrievr, “Allentown is proud of our efforts to reduce our environmental impact and save taxpayers money. It’s not often we get to announce a program that does both, so we’re incredibly excited to have found retrievr. Our residents get the convenience of an at-home pickup, we keep recyclable materials out of the waste stream and the city saves on disposal fees.”

The city will receive 10% of the earnings for recycling clothing, however it is estimated at less than $2,000. The biggest savings impact will be by avoiding the landfill disposal cost of the clothing and other textiles. The city currently pays $56.39 per ton for landfill disposal.

To participate:
● Visit or text PICKUP to 757-70-FETCH (757-703-3824) to schedule your pickup date.
● If you’d like to earn a reward for your pickup, you can send in pictures of “like-new” items that you will be recycling.
● On your pickup day, set out your electronics and bagged clothing on your porch or next to your front door.
● The truck will collect it.

“We are excited to have Allentown take the lead and be the first community in Lehigh County to point our nation to a solution to our billion-dollar apparel and electronic waste problem,” said Bob Anderson of retrievr. “And the solution is simple: give people a more convenient choice, and they’ll happily recycle. retrievr is proud to partner with the city of Allentown to return clothing and electronics to their best and highest re-use.”

The one-year pilot program can be extended by mutual agreement of the city and retrievr.

Visit retrievr’s website at to learn more about how the program works.

For more information on recycling in Allentown, visit Allentown will continue to accept clothing at the drop off center.

The city will continue offering free electronics recycling drop-off events of the first Saturday of the month by appointment. Please call 610-437-8729 to schedule a time.

Additionally, clothing, towels and other textiles may still be dropped off at the Allentown Recycling Drop-Off Center. The clothing collected at the center benefits Via of the Lehigh Valley.


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