Reading time ( words)
Cirtronics was a finalist in the “Community” category at the 6th Annual New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility’s (NHBSR) Sustainability Slam. The Sustainability Slam is a dynamic evening of storytelling where businesses bring their sustainability stories to life through fast-paced (90 seconds), fun presentations. This year’s virtual event required a video submission from each finalist.
At the end of the evening, Cirtronics was announced as the winner of the Community category for large companies.
The Challenge or Opportunity: During the pandemic, opportunities for volunteering and donating items to their non-profit partners have been restricted. To meet the needs of their community and to provide Cirtronics employees a new way to serve during the crisis, they needed to adapt their donation program within the COVID restrictions.
The Solution: Instead of a single event “drive,” Cirtronics created a perpetual donation bin to collect clothing and household textile items. All donations are bagged per COVID requirements and are dropped off at the SHARE bins at their headquarters in Milford, New Hampshire. SHARE is a local non-profit organization that provides emergency and ongoing support in the form of food, clothing, emergency financial assistance and connections with other area resources to individuals and families in need the south-central region of New Hampshire.
Ecosmith Recyclers, a family-owned textile and shoe recycling company based in New Boston, New Hampshire, manages the content of the bins. Their business is to redirect clothing from the landfill-based waste stream. From their website, “After sorting out anything that can still be worn, the balance is then sorted into various categories. First, [Ecosmith] will set aside the things that can be used to manufacture new clothing and shoes. Then, what remains is repurposed for use in manufacturing and industrial settings. After that, the left over textile is milled into fibers for things like soundproofing and insulation. The more rigid material like rubber from shoes is ground down to make things like playground material.” These materials are re-sold and profits are shared with the hosts of the Ecosmith collection sites such as SHARE.
The bottom line is a complete sustainability win: Unused clothes and textiles are repurposed, and Ecosmith gives a portion of their profiles to support SHARE’s mission, while Cirtronics employees are able to continue to support this important community partner during the current crisis (and beyond).
As of their entry date into the competition, Cirtronics had collected over 250 pounds of clothing and household textile items using their on-site, in-house collection bin since they began the program in early August. Response to using the bins has been overwhelmingly positive, as the company comes together to continue serving their community during the pandemic.