Following the thread of textile recycling
Southend’s Recycling Champions recently visited a textile recycling facility in Canning Town to experience a material change.
They went to find out what happens to textiles placed in LMB’s mini-recycling banks around Southend-on-Sea. Each item arriving at the facility is hand-checked.
Good quality garments are grouped according to the materials they are made from, and then baled together for export.
LMB exports around 80 per cent of the clothes and textiles to Africa and Eastern Europe where they are transported from city centres to remote rural communities.
Most regions of Africa do not have a textile industry able to produce affordable good quality clothes. Exporting second hand clothes from the UK helps to create overseas markets and supplies affordable western clothes to those who would not otherwise be able to buy them.
Most of the clothes exported are sold or traded in local community markets.
However 50% of the textiles and materials received are not fit for re-use, so they are either cut into industrial rags, or sent for flocking and felting. Less than 5% which includes household rubbish, hangers and shoes cannot be recycled and must be sent to landfill.
Recycling Champions are local volunteers who encourage their friends, families, neighbours and colleagues to recycle more to help Southend reach its 60 per cent recycling target by 2015.
Last year, Champions visited Aylesford Newsprint Paper Mill in Kent to see how paper from Southend’s mini recycling centres is recycled and also went to Bywaters Materials Recycling Facility to see how materials within pink recycling sacks are separated for recycling.
Their next event is a food waste workshop on Wednesday 23rd March. To find out more, or to sign up to become a Recycling Champion, call Rutendo Chitiga on 07894 515 875 or email email@example.com.
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