Weighty response to textile recycling trial

Almost two tonnes of clothing, shoes and sheets have been saved from landfill on the first day of a new textiles recycling trial in South Cambridgeshire.

The trial that will include 5,000 homes began on Wednesday (January 30) with hundreds of blue bags full of textiles being loaded up for recycling in just one day.

Blue recycling bags have already been delivered to homes that are included in the trial and council recycling bosses are asking residents to leave the bags out next to their blue bins for collection.

If the trial is successful waste bosses aim to roll it out to all homes in the district.

Last year 1,300 tonnes of textiles and shoes were disposed of in black bins in the district and ended up in landfill.

If recycled, the same amount of CO2 produced by flying from London to Sydney 1,900 times would have been saved as well as thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money on landfill charges.

The textiles and shoes collected will be sent to a textile processing facility and sorted into re-use and recycling grades.

Reusable items are sold for reuse in both the UK and abroad and non-reusable items such as worn clothing and old towels are sorted with some items being used for cleaning rags and industrial wipers.

Other non-reusable items are sorted into type and colour, recycled and made into new fabrics.

Even old and worn clothing that would not be accepted by charity shops can be recycled using the new scheme.

Blue bags have already been delivered to homes in Bar Hill, Childerley, Chittering, Dry Drayton, Knapwell, Swavesey and Waterbeach. More bags will be delivered to the final two villages of Landbeach and Longstanton next week.

Coats and jackets, pairs of shoes, accessories, trousers and jeans, sweatshirts, jumpers and t-shirts, shirts and blouses, dresses and skirts, baby and children’s clothing, towels, blankets and rugs and bedding and curtains are all welcome and can be placed in the blue textile recycling sacks.

Oily items, carpets, duvets, cushions, pillows, quilts and sleeping bags cannot be recycled in this way.

Cllr Sue Ellington, SCDC cabinet member in charge of waste and recycling, said: “This is a fantastic response on the first day of the trial so please keep up the good work.

“We are urging everyone to still make sure good quality clothes are donated to charity shops, but with around 1,300 tonnes of textiles making their way into black bins each year we hope this new trial will tackle some of this problem.

“We’re committed to trying to get the trial rolled out to the whole district but this will only be possible with your continued support.”

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (February 21) Echo.