September 21, 2011

Many people know they can recycle plastic, aluminum and paper, but they may not be aware they can recycle their blue jeans. University of Kentucky College of Agriculture students in the Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles Club are now collecting used jeans in the UK denim drive.

The UK drive is conducted in conjunction with Cotton, Incorporated’s COTTON. FROM BLUE TO GREEN. ®denim recycling program. Cotton, Incorporated takes used jeans and converts them into natural, cotton fiber insulation to use in building homes for Habitat for Humanity in areas hit hard by natural disasters, such as New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina.

Since 2008, students in the MAT Club , which is a part of the UK School of Human Environmental Sciences, have participated in the recycling campaign.

“The denim is not only being put to a good use but it helps prevent the denim from filling up landfills,” said Scarlett Wesley, assistant professor in UK’s Department of Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles and MAT club adviser.

UK’s drive extends through Oct. 31. Jeans with or without embellishments and of any color and condition are accepted, including scrap material. Individuals can donate used jeans at the following locations on UK’s campus: Erikson Hall, Agricultural Science Center North, Student Center and campus dining halls. Those who do not reside in Lexington may be able to donate at a location near them. For more information, contact the local office of the UK Cooperative Extension Service.