My son has a pair of old jeans that are full of stains and ripped in various places. I’d like to know if we should throw them in the compost or in the garbage? Where would they decompose best?
Old jeans would decompose better in the compost pile. They are most likely going to stick around for a while if they’re thrown in a landfill, but a compost heap contains ideal conditions for decomposing material, so it will get rid of them faster. Here’s a link of someone who composted her jeans. Be sure to feed your compost heap with plenty of plant clippings and other organic materials, coffee grounds, and adequate moisture (which I’m sure you probably already know if you already have one).
Jeans are also reused as insulation. If you are interested, you can mail them to this address.
Thank you! I didn’t know jeans could be reused as insulation… I’ll look into it.
Because jeans are treated with all kinds of chemical dyes, I would not suggest composting them – when broken down, these chemicals can be harmful to the enivornment. Buying jeans new in the first place isn’t as environmentally friendly in the first place as buying them used (if you’re okay with the slightly or heavily worn look) – the chemical treatments denim undergoes during the production process is harmful especially to water quality, and wipes out the biodiversity in entire waterways near where the denim is treated. In some cases, the color of the entire river or stream is altered because of how much dye runs off into them from these factories. For your used jeans, take them to a used clothing store, or for your son’s tattered jeans that may be unwearable for someone else, I would consider sending them to be turned into insulation for houes (yes, this is done!)
Thank you,… I hadn’t thought about the dye and chemical issue used in the making of jeans! It makes perfect sense. I also didn’t know jeans could be turned into insulation; that’s a great idea, I’ll look into that.
If there’s still some salvageable denim, there are a variety of things you can do with the material left over:
Thank you, I’ll research these.
At one point, companies such as Gap were offering to recycle jeans for anyone willing to bring in their old pairs. On top of the offer to recycle the jeans for you, these stores also coupled this with giving those costumers 20% off a new pair of jeans. I am not sure if companies like Gap are offering these types of services anymore but that’s some pretty great incentive to get out and start recycling.
Thank you, I’ll look into this.
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