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Ask Giselle: Dry Cleaning Hangars

Question:
Are my dry cleaning hangars recyclable?

Answer:
Yes. Wire metal hangers are scrap metal. They are recyclable. Los Angeles has curbside wire hangar recycling. The plastic bags and paper from your dry cleaning is recyclable. Not all cities have curbside wire hanger recycling. So Check to make sure by going to your city’s Sanitation Dept. site.

Each year 8 billion plastic and wire hangers find their way into our municipal landfills, which makes up 85% of all hangers that are being produced. That is enough to fill the Empire State building, from basement to observation deck, 4.6 times!!! The Dry Cleaning industry alone uses 3.5 billion wire hangers each year, which is equivalent to 200 million pounds of metal or 60,000 automobiles.

Unlike paper and plastic, there are no specially designated recycling bins for disposal of your used wire hangers, so many of us simply throw them away. This results in 3.5 billion hangers ending up in our landfills every year.

If you live in an area that accepts wire hangers as part of curbside recycling, take advantage of it, or use Earth911 to locate recycling centers nearest you.

Otherwise, reuse is the best option. If you don’t want to keep wire hangers around in your closet, use them for do-it-yourself projects such as unclogging drains. Lastly, many dry cleaners welcome metal hangers back to their facilities for reuse.

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