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Drycleaners keep 35 million hangers out of landfills in time for Earth Day 2015

4/24/2015, 1 p.m.
Many people have a pile of steel hangers in their homes from their drycleaners and all too often, these hangers ...

Many people have a pile of steel hangers in their homes from their drycleaners and all too often, these hangers end up in the trash.

For Earth Day 2015, 357 professional members of the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI), pledged to reduce wire hanger waste by 35 million hangers, or 1,050 tons of steel.

The program began in 2012, when drycleaners helped reduce steel hanger waste by 25 million hangers or 750 tons of steel. In 2013 the number grew to 30 million hangers or 900 tons of steel. In 2014 participants raised the goal to 35 million more hangers, or 1,050 tons of steel. This year will see 35 million more hangers diverted from landfills.

By recycling hangers drycleaners prevent waste and save money. Now in its fourth year the program has prevented 125 million hangers, 3,750 tons of steel from entering landfills since 2012.

"This program is designed to help the environment, customers, and cleaners," said DLI CEO Mary Scalco. "Our first year with this program was remarkably successful and we've enjoyed the enthusiasm expressed by program participants as we progress to loftier goals. We'd like to see that number continue to grow as awareness of the program spreads."

Cleaners participating in the program pledge to reuse hangers whenever possible and recycle unusable hangers with local steel scrap yards. The Institute provides in-store materials cleaners can use to raise awareness of the program, which often results in more hangers coming into their stores. Participants track the hangers by estimated count and report their recycling numbers to the Institute for inclusion in the program's grand total.

Anyone wishing to recycle wire hangers may do so at a participating drycleaner. For the list of participating drycleaners, visit: http://www.dlionline.org/Participating-Dry-Cleaners.

If there is no participating cleaner near you, ask your local cleaner if they will take the hangers. The answer is often yes and you can do your part to keep hangers out of your local landfill.