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Make your pledge to recycle textiles

Oct 14, 2010
A new campaign to encourage residents to recycle their unwanted clothes, shoes and other household textiles has been launched by the North London Waste Authority (NLWA).

The campaign is aimed at reducing the one million tonnes of clothes, shoes and textiles dumped in landfill each year in the UK.

Across the north London boroughs in the NLWA area (Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest) there are some 250 textile banks.  These can be found in numerous locations including Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs - also known as 'tips'), schools and car parks.

Residents are being urged to find their nearest textile bank and make a pledge to recycle any unwanted garments.  If thrown into household rubbish, such items end up in landfill.  

Those who sign up to the campaign could also secure a free place on a 'sew good' workshop.  Run by the charity TRAID (Textile Recycling for Aid and International Development) the workshops teach people new skills so they can turn old textiles into fantastic new pieces of clothing.

Cllr Clyde Loakes, Chair of the NLWA, said:

"Clothes, shoes and household textiles we no longer want are a really valuable resource.  They can be put to good use by charities here and overseas, helping people who are not as fortunate as ourselves.

"The more we can reuse and recycle textiles the less that will go to landfill.  That's really important and will help protect our environment.

"I'd encourage residents to sign up; it's a real win-win for everybody."

Most textiles are synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester, which don't break down, taking up expensive landfill space.  Natural garments like wool and cotton decompose producing methane, a harmful greenhouse gas which contributes to climate change.

The production of textiles also impacts on the environment, with a lot of energy used in making, packing, transporting, selling and caring for our clothes and other household textiles like curtains, sheets and towels.

The best way to minimise this impact is to reduce what we buy in the first place, or either reuse or recycle, which in turn reduces the amount of textiles which end up in landfill.

More information on the campaign, together with top recycling tips, is available at www.nlwa.gov.uk/textiles

-ENDS-

Notes for editors

The NLWA is the statutory waste disposal authority for the London boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest.

The Authority manages the disposal of approximately 900,000 tonnes of municipal waste per annum - approximately 3% of the national total. This is expected to grow to more than one million tonnes in the future partially as a result of housing growth.

The eight north London authorities (NLWA and seven Boroughs) have agreed a joint municipal waste management strategy which includes an ambition for 50% of north London's waste to be recycled and a significant reduction of waste that goes to landfill.

For more information please contact NLWA communications manager David Tuddenham on 020 8489 4360 or david.tuddenham@nlwa.gov.uk