New drive to get people to recycle textiles

Don’t put your old clothes, shoes or bedding in your household bin – reuse them or take them to a recycling bank to help good causes and the environment.

That’s the message from East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s waste and recycling team, following reports this week that, in England, the amount of household rubbish being rejected for recycling has increased by 84% between 2011 and 2015.

The waste and recycling team wants to encourage residents not to put unwanted textiles in their green and blue household bins – as they cannot be recycled.

In the East Riding, around 6.5% of all waste put in green bins is clothing or other fabric items.

And last year around 8% of the waste collected from blue bins in the East Riding was textiles. That is 2,820 tonnes of clothing, shoes, quilts, blankets or towels, from an overall total of 35,245 tonnes of waste collected for recycling.

So residents are being urged to take them to a clothing bank located at any of the 145 mini recycling sites across the area at local supermarkets and other sites.

All items collected in the clothing banks are recycled and can raise money for charities.

Many clothing banks in the East Riding raise money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance – which is also one of the chosen charities of council chairman Councillor John Dennis this year, along with East Riding’s RNLI stations.

Recycle Now, the national recycling campaign for England, said there has never been a better time to sell unwanted and vintage clothing.

There are many other ways people can recycle their clothing and textiles:

  • You can donate good quality clothes to charity shops, or place them in charity bags for doorstep collection.
  • You can sell your clothes online on websites including eBay, Gumtree or Preloved.
  • Ask friends and family members if they would like them, especially children’s or babies’ clothes.
  • Ask local schools if they collect clothing or textiles to help fund-raising.
  • And, if you like sewing, reuse the material from old clothes to make yourself brand new ones.

Councillor Symon Fraser, the council’s portfolio holder for asset management, housing and environment, said: “We are asking residents to not put textiles in their household bins, but to recycle them instead to help good causes, save money or even make money.”

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