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New textile recycling drive

Published on:

28 July 2016

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Enfield Council has launched a new campaign designed to boost the recycling rates of unwanted shoes and clothes in the borough.

Enfield Council has launched a new campaign designed to boost the recycling rates of unwanted shoes and clothes in the borough. To highlight this Cllr Daniel Anderson, Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Environment, visited Barrowell Green Recycling Centre today (28 July) to see for himself the textile recycling facilities available there.

Although Enfield Council is working really hard to make it easy for residents to recycle, lots of textile items which can be recycled are still being put in with the general household rubbish. There have also been a number of incidents where cloth and other clothing items have been placed in the blue lidded recycling bin, which contaminates the load and leads to it being sent to landfill and costs taxpayers more money.

The campaign advises that if you have unwanted clothes or shoes, giving them to a charity shop is an excellent way of reusing unwanted items rather than throwing them away. Articles can also be placed in any of the 30 recycling banks located throughout the borough, or taken to Barrowell Green Recycling Centre in Winchmore Hill for reuse or recycling.

As well as recycling unwanted clothing, you can reuse and recycle other textiles such as towels, sheets, bedding, blankets and even soft furnishings like cushion covers. But almost anything made of fabric - even frayed and unwearable clothing - can be recycled in on-street recycling banks.

Animal charities also often welcome old towels and blankets for the animals in their care; so there is no excuse to throw them out.

Wearable clothes and shoes donated to charity shops are sold to raise money for good causes or sent overseas to those in need. Those clothes and textiles that cannot be worn or used again can be sold for other uses such as for padding and stuffing in furniture or for industrial wipes. Some woollen yarns and fibres can be reprocessed and made into fibre for new garments.

Each year Enfield Council recycles 39% of its waste, but wants to increase this to 50% by 2020. Hitting this target would save the Council about £1 million a year.

Encouraging people to recycle their textiles is part of a wider campaign, run by Enfield Council, to stop the contamination of the recycling wheeled bins which can result in a whole lorry load of recycling being rejected and sent to landfill – which costs the Council a significant amount of money.

The campaign will be highlighting all the different kinds of things which can be recycled such as glass, paper and tins, plus how to prepare the items for recycling, for example, rinsing jars and tins. It also outlines what cannot be recycled, like nappies, which go in the black bin and the best way to reuse certain items like textiles.

Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Daniel Anderson, said "Residents are doing a fantastic job of recycling, but we want people to think twice before throwing away their old clothes and shoes.

"Don't just throw textiles in the black waste bin. Stop and think, can this be reused in some way? You will usually find that the answer is yes it can. Even clothes in poor condition or worn shoes can often be recycled to help those in need.

"Reducing landfill costs and creating a cleaner borough is in everyone's interests. By significantly increasing our recycling rates we could save the borough millions of pounds each and every year and make a real difference to our environment."

Find places you can recycle.