The Wilton High School Recycling Club recently received a huge donation from the Wilton Warrior Marching Band–220 pairs of marching band uniform pants. Much more than just a way to offload some items that were no longer useful, that donation of pants actually will help the school see some green–both in the form of money raised to benefit the high school’s organic garden project, and the plants that will be grown there.

The pants had served the school well for over 20 years as part of the Warrior Marching Band uniform. They, along with the uniform jackets, were retired in 2015, after the school invested in new band uniforms.

The donation from the Warrior Band to the WHS Recycling Club coincided with the start of a textile recycling program. The Recycling Club had recently welcomed the arrival of two brand new recycling bins from Bay State Textiles, a Massachusetts-based recycling company that pays the school by the ton for donated textiles. The prominent, white bins are very visible–and accessible by everyone–at the entrance to the high school’s north parking lot near the Clune Center.

Money raised by the Recycling Club from the textile donations will be used to support the high school’s organic garden and other green projects, including composting and the planting of wildlife-friendly plants.

Having searched unsuccessfully for a home for the retired uniforms, the WHS Music Boosters were thrilled to have the option of donating the pants to the WHS Recycling Club.

“Basically, we had all these marching band uniform pants in storage that were no longer being used,” says Nick Loafman, WHS band director. “We were really happy to find a way to recycle them.”

(The retired jackets have been claimed as mementos by current and past band members and fans.)

“This is the biggest donation the Recycling Club has ever received,” says Emily Zimmerman, the club’s president. “We are really thankful that the Warrior Band would go to such lengths to help make the school green.”

Hopefully, the news will help encourage more Wilton community members to think of the bins as a way to recycle their own fabric items. Acceptable donations go beyond used clothes and shoes. Faded old towels; ancient, weathered curtains; worn-out sheets; tattered, old stuffed animals–they are all welcome in the donation bins. The only textiles Bay State Textiles will not accept are those that are wet, mildewed or contaminated with hazardous waste. All donated items must be bagged–no loose items, please.

For a complete list of items acceptable for donation, visit the Bay State Textiles website.

Pictured above are WHS students (L-R) Pippa Gosden, Emily Zimmerman, Emma Helman, Cole Stefan, Ravi Siripuram, Jack Gioffre, Haley MacDonald, Ava Martinelli and Ryan Carlson.