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Council starts collecting old clothing in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 13:55 31 May 2012

Clothes can be recycled

Clothes can be recycled

Archant

Householders in Waveney and across Suffolk will soon be able to have their old clothes collected with their recycling waste, as part of a drive to save hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money.

Suffolk County Council currently spends about £600,000 a year disposing of clothing and textiles that people throw away with their rubbish.

But from July, the Suffolk Waste Partnership (SWP) will be delivering specially-designed clothing recycling bags to homes, along with a leaflet outlining the collecting instructions.

It is hoped the service, to be run as an initial trial, will help the authority lower the cost of disposing of the items and help the SWP reach its recycling target of 60pc of the county’s waste by 2015.

Clive Arthey, SWP chairman, said: “We are delighted to broaden the range of materials we are able to collect for recycling.

“We encourage our residents to support this new scheme and help reuse or recycle those textiles they may currently be sending to landfill.”

Once collections begin, people will be able to place the bags on top of recycling bins. However, the SWP is keen that charity shops should not suffer a decrease in donations because of the new collections.

Mr Arthey said: “I would like to remind people that they are certainly not being asked to give away any textiles and clothing they would normally donate to charity shops or place in charity textile banks. “

An analysis of household waste in Suffolk revealed that around 7,000 tonnes of clothing and textiles ended up at landfill sites every year.

Items which can be collected include clean clothing, shoes, boots, slippers, hats, scarves, gloves, bed linen, blankets, sheets, pillowcases, hand-bags, belts, clean underwear, curtains, towels, tea towels, and stuffed toys.

All collections will all be sent to a reprocessing plant where re-usable clothing will be separated, and the remaining textiles will be shredded and used as stuffing or wipes.

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