Every year around 350,000 tonnes or £140 million worth of used clothing is dumped in landfill. The majority of this could be recycled or reused by someone else. As an ever growing ‘disposable’ nation the importance of responsibly disposing of clothing and other textiles is growing also.
Funding from the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP) meant South Holland District Council was able to launch a textiles trial in March across 5,000 homes. The aim of the trial is to reduce the amount of textiles that residents throw away in black refuse bags.
Though textiles are currently collected in green bags, separating the textiles out from other recycling increases their value and the ability to reuse them. The pilot has been a great success with more than 8 tonnes collected so far.
Today in the UK more than 1,800 tonnes of shoes, clothing, bedding and household textiles are thrown into landfill instead of being reused or recycled. South Holland’s trial is publicising responsible disposal routes for textiles, and reminding residents that all good quality textiles will be accepted at charity shops across the district.
Our textile collector, Danfollows the recycling vehicle. It is hoped in the near future that bags will be collected on storage trays on the soon to arrive fleet of recycling vehicles. Every week bags of textiles are collected from the storage container by the Salvation Army. The textiles are then taken to the Salvation Army depot in Kettering to be sorted and distributed to textile reprocessors.
Dan says: “The scheme is really great because it makes it easy for our residents to get rid of their textiles, and it also reduces the amount people put into their black bags.”
The fantastic response from the textiles trial has so far has seen over 80% of the textiles collected sent for reuse with another 15% being recycled, diverting over 8 tonnes of material from being sent for disposal.
We now hope to extend the trial across South Holland to encourage more residents to recycle unwanted textiles. The great thing about the scheme is even if items are one of a pair or ripped and broken they can still be put out for collection.
For more information about textile recycling and the trial please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Laura on 01775761161.