DONATE HAIR FUR AND FLEECE
How do I donate hair/fur/fleece?
To donate to our Clean Wave program, first sign up to the Free Exchange on our HumSum.net – Humanity Adding Solutions Network (even for a one time hair donation). We ask you to do this because warehouse spaces are limited and we cannot always accept boxes of clippings. Right now we need ponytails that are 3 inches or longer (we use these for the mats’ scrims – like a lacy framework we fill in with fur, fleece etc.), and we may need to reach you in the future for emergency oil spills in your area, so please sign up!
Why can’t you just give me a $%&$#@ address?!
Due to the sheer volume of donations from the thousands of generous donors like yourself, we have to manage the volume and direct materials to closest recipients. Not all depots are always open, and we don’t want any boxes returned. Please sign up to the Free Exchange on our Hum Sum – Humanity Adding Solutions platform and post your gift of hair under the Clean Wave – hair category. Thanks!
What are the properties of hair that help in an oil spill cleanup?
What happens to my hair when you get it?
Mats, booms, and loose fibers are used in classroom oil spill clean up demos. Mats are used by hazmat teams in oil spill cleanups and by public works departments in storm drain cages to keep motor oil drip spills out of waterways. Booms are best for encircling spills or “sandbagging” a beach to keep sands clean.
Does hair float?
How do you make hair booms?
How have you found hair booms compare to pete moss/hay/other natural methods?
Can used hair mats be wrung out reused?
Has the technique of using hair to clean up oil spills been tested by laboratories?
What is the absorbent weight ratio of hair booms vs. synthetic?(ex: how much oil can 1lb of hair absorb compared to synthetic?)
What are some challenges that Matter of Trust has run into with the Clean Wave Program?
At other times we can use more supply or more volunteers, or more municipal takers so that we can support the program and make it sustainable and able to donate to emergency oil spills.
How do environmental factors impact oil composition?
What have oil and gas companies said to Matter of Trust about the Clean Wave program?
Six weeks after the BP spill, the world had oil spill news fatigue, the press had moved on and then a tug boat hit a defunct oil well that started spilling some oil. BP just said – well now you don’t know what’s our oil washing ashore or that well, so we’re out of here – and they pulled out. At that point, all the parishes in Louisiana and the docks and harbors could take our volunteer made donated booms, no problem. Before that, they were being careful and hopeful that everybody might get some emergency funding and didn’t want to rock the boat. As soon as all that hope goes away, any and all resources are gratefully accepted, hair, hay, Kevin Costner’s brother’s ocean vacuums… everything.
Do volunteers and cleanup crews have to be trained?
What is the cost comparison of hair booms vs. synthetic booms?
It really depends upon who is paying. If it is a shipping company then the cost of the cleanup supplies is different than if it is an oil company. For example, Corexit is an Exxon / BP product that was made illegal by the EU so they had a lot of it that they could use during the Horizon clean up. Since the responsible party only has to legally show best efforts to clean up 5% of an oil spill (because time and dilution make clean up nearly impossible) their major concern is to mitigate the amount of oil coming ashore and contaminating property that could lead to lawsuits. The EU warned the EPA that BP’s use of Corexit was harmful and so the EPA told BP that they would fine them for using it (spraying it over the Deep Water site by plane for weeks according to Sierra Club). BP weighed the options and decided that the fines were less expensive than the potential lawsuits, so they continued to spray and the Corexit sank most of the oil so that it wouldn’t come ashore. Some of it didn’t sink though and it collected in the warm gulf streams and formed into what looked like black serpents, called “plumes” that would suddenly come up and blacken the white beaches. Corexit had the advantage of not only being free to BP, but BP had to contribute to the Clean Up Fund and was able to reimburse itself for the Corexit supply expense.
Many BP staff members were very helpful to us in the Gulf and we were always sampling booms to test against the hair / fur / fleece booms. We videotaped examples of this – the white one is BP – first against hair in orange floatation mesh and next against fur/ fleece mixture which is as buoyant as synthetic booms. The fishermen in the Gulf were especially upset with BP for using Corexit because it made all the oil sink and kill all the crabs and crayfish that were their livelihood. BP also provides oil for the synthetic booms and so the BP booms are a budget line item reimbursement for them. We got this information from the head of Public Relations at BP, when we asked them why they were so against promoting that they were using the hair booms in their Boom and Acquisition Dept in Houma, Louisiana but in the press they were saying that they would never use hair.
So, on a shelf, an internationally made petroleum based BP boom is “cheaper” than a donated hair US manufactured felted hair mat, but nothing is cheaper than a volunteer-made, donated waste, fleece and recycled enclosure material boom which is entirely free.
What lengths of hair / kinds of fiber can I post?
• Boxes of clippings – Most salons and groomers simply reuse shampoo delivery boxes and line them with a garbage bag (ideally compostable). The boxes must be debris free meaning: nothing sharp, no cigarettes, food, metal pins, clips, garbage etc. Your box contents will end up in classrooms, felting machines, and natural habitats (water ways, rivers, oceans).
• Loose Hair, Fur, Wool, and Fleece – Hair and fur clippings can be any length. Fleece and wool can be any grade. Other acceptable fiber donations can be posted: Feathers, laundry lint, old woolen socks, etc…
Thank you for sending in “debris free” fleece clippings for our pilot project! We can provide tax deductible receipts for your donation. Donors also pay for the shipping and can add this to the tax receipt. Please send in card board boxes or bags sturdy enough to be shipped.
Please note: debris free is very important as debris can ruin our felting machines. So, please, no leaves, twigs, rocks, dirt, feces, etc. or we have to discard the whole container.
Every length, color, type of fleece is welcome!
Please contact email@example.com for shipping addresses.
• Emergency Hair Booms (sausage shape) – Booms (for floating in water, land waddles, absorbing socks…) are made of hair stuffed into clean, donated nylon stocking legs. Booms are sent directly to a spill for immediate use. We only accept booms during emergencies and when there are hazardous material removal systems in place.
• Long ponytails (8 inches or longer) – Please also check out these other cool charities who sell hair and make low cost wigs for patients with hair loss: ChildrenWithHairLoss.us (8+ inches), Wigs4Kids.org (8+ inches) , Locks of Love (10+ inches) and Pantene Beautiful Lengths (8+ inches).
• Other supplies you can donate: Rope (⅛-¼ inch thickness), Burlap Sacks, Nylon Stocking Legs, Shrimp Bags… These supplies are used for emergency spills and containing hair and booms to protect beaches and string across piers during oil spill clean up.
When you post donations on ExcessAccess.org, please specify the quantity and unit size of your donations (bags, boxes, pallet, truck loads, etc…).
Check out the other departments on our ExcessAccess.org program, the whole program is free and designed to encourage sorting waste into useful resources, linking supply to those in need and reducing carbon emissions from overflowing landfills! Thanks!
Are hair mats safe for the environment?
BP actually brought up that the hair mats and hair booms shed. But they were slammed in the press, as not only bald people go to the beach and sea mammals have fur coats. In comparison to the toxins BP was putting into the water, the natural hair shedding was minimal. Ideally people who colored, straightened or permed their hair wouldn’t swim, but until then and as a % of what pollutants are in waterways vs. what the mats can collect and remove in the way of contaminants – it’s no contest. But there are times where people will bring this up as a reason not to do it. There is always a way to nay something.
Why divert natural fibers from the waste stream?
Who first thought of the idea to use hair to clean up oil spills?
How do you make hair mats?
YouTube on How To Make A Boom – in an emergency, hundreds of volunteers can easily stuff thousands of booms and boom, waddle or “sandbag” with walls of boom to protect a beach or ecosystem.
Here are some more:
EPA letter to Phil McCrory Oil Spill Hair Mat inventor
Does the effectiveness of hair mats/booms depend on the type of oil that has been spilled? How does hair react to soaking up lighter and heavier oils (different viscosities)?
How are used hair mats disposed of?
Hair mats and booms too can be burned as a fuel of course. They are mostly just hair and oil. But this should be done in a closed system that is conscious of particulates and toxins.
Can used hair mats be composted?
How cost-effective is cleaning up oil spills with hair, when compared to other methods?
What are some examples of major oil spills that the Clean Wave Program has helped clean up?
How quickly does oil need to be cleaned up once a spill has occurred?
How do chemical dispersants change oil composition?
What steps should I take if an oil spill has happened in my area?
- Try working with authorities and remember that they are very stressed and under a lot of pressure and don’t like this any more than you do. They may be afraid of lawsuits and public mobilizations may scare them.
- Find private places that do need public help – private beaches, docks etc. all of nature is connected and doesn’t know or care about what’s private and what’s public.
- Have the press show what is working – sometimes there can be lines on beaches – hair vs. no hair.
- Ask for help with containment materials. Nylons, tights, burlap sacks, crab bags, more ideas from local surplus – welcome any ideas. Aim for natural or reusable materials when possible.
- Get donations of tyvek suits and gloves – as many as you can. It’s a messy business.
- Set up separate tarps, bags or cans for disposing of the tyvek suits and gloves and nylons, tights, pool noodles or any floatation assistance, rope, burlap bags, crab bags…
- Keep the oily hair separate – it may be useful for legal reasons to take photos and to save for testing – and it can be (laboriously) composted or burned as a fuel source.
Do you have any interesting statistics/data about oil spills that you could share?
1 pound of hair soaks up 1 liter of oil in 1 minute (but that can be done faster if manipulated in the oil – as you can see by videos it can be very fast with mats and loose hair.)
We’re currently concentrating on storm drains because 50% of oil spills that contaminate our waterways comes from used motor oil drops on our roadways being washed by rain into storm drains. Big flashy newsworthy oil spills are actually a small percentage of the problem, but they’re sexier and help with awareness. Storm drains don’t excite everyone as much as they do me 🙂 The great thing about storm drains is that they are in every municipality and can use 3 mats per drain per year and mats help collect leaves and twigs as well so less clogs. It’s a great local green business. We are currently setting up a model one for field trips in San Francisco city center in order to promote this to visiting conventions. SF gets 16 million tourists a year so we hope to get a lot of great ideas and feedback and expansion from this. We hope you will come and visit us too! We are winding up renovations of the building and it will be open in May 2017.
How can I buy hair mats?
How can I partner with Matter of Trust to start a Clean Wave project depot in my area?
Mat Making Green Jobs
If you would like to set up a Clean Wave manufacturing site for recycled fiber oil spill cleanup mats, please let us know.
We are currently planning on starting 4 more sites in the U.S. (Gulf Coast, Great Lakes, East Coast, West Coast) strategically placed to reduce shipping distances for boxes of fibers thereby lowering the carbon footprint of the program. We are a nonprofit and intend to roll out sites conscientiously in order to address climate impacts, green jobs, emergency spill logistics, and clean storm drains. These sites will sell mats to Public Works Departments, construction sites, oil changers, machine shops… any place with oil leaks. We will also provide supplies and assistance to empower volunteers to provide materials during emergency oil spills safely distant from hazardous waste.
Our goal is to create jobs for all ages (loose fiber box collection, mat manufacturing, sales, distribution, etc.), divert fiber clippings from the waste stream, and recycle them into useful products that help clean our environment, decontaminate drought suffering waterways and make the program sustainable.
Clean Wave Program also provides educational opportunities in schools, after school programs and lecture halls to teach youth about recycling, clean water, and compost. We have created handouts, lesson plans, demo videos, empowering DIY kits, and science fair assistance. Learn how these abundant, renewable fibers visibly soak up oil instantly.
Please note: Oil is toxic and direct contact should be avoided. Disposal of oil soiled material must be dealt with according to hazardous waste material standards. Protective gear and disposal systems should be in place before any waste is collected.
For more information, please browse the links below. And if you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, our Matter of Trust Eco-Center provides Clean Wave demo presentation for classroom field trips.