Saving textiles from black bins could save CO2 for 1,900 flights to Sydney

A new textile recycling trial is taking off in South Cambridgeshire in a bid to stop clothing, shoes and sheets ending up in landfill.

Around 5,000 homes are being delivered blue recycling bags next week so they can put unwanted textiles and shoes out for collection alongside their blue bins.

If the trial that launched on January 30 is a success 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.

Households in the following villages are covered by the trial: Bar Hill, Childerley, Chittering, Dry Drayton, Knapwell, Landbeach, Longstanton, Swavesey and Waterbeach.

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, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member in charge of waste and recycling, said: “We are urging everyone to 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.

“It is staggering how much CO2 and landfill charges could be saved if we all made a concerted effort to recycle old clothing, shoes and textiles.

“Please make use of the new trial service as we will only be able to launch it across the whole district with your continued support.”

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (February 14) Echo.