Around Ealing Spring 2014 - Page 21

RECYCLING Smart clothes According to research, almost a third of clothes hanging in the average wardrobe will not have been worn in the last year. Now is the time for that big clear-out. T he national Love Your Clothes campaign run by Waste Resource and Action Programme (WRAP) found that approximately 30% of clothes, the equivalent of £260, had not been donned for 12 months or longer. In fact, about 1.4million tonnes of textiles, mainly made up of these unloved clothes and shoes, and also linens like bedding and curtains, get disposed of each year in the UK when they could either have been reused or recycled. This equates to an estimated £238million-worth of textiles sent to landfill unnecessarily. WHAT CAN YOU DO? You can ‘upcycle’ the items of clothing or linens if you fancied taking the increasingly trendy route of adapting and enhancing old garments. There is a growing number of sewing classes in the area to help you achieve this. Or you could just donate them to a charity shop. Otherwise, even more simply, you can use your nearest textile collections bank – there are many of them dotted around the borough, which accept clothing, blankets and linens. Other similar materials such as clean tea towels, odd socks and towels are also accepted. Later in the year the council plans to provide more textile banks, particularly on estates. It can be even easier for you to do if you put out any unwanted clothing in your green recycling box on your next weekly collection day. Just make sure you put them in a bag to keep them dry – and tie any pairs of shoes together. Alternatively, you could look out for local ‘swishing’ events, where you can swap your clothes. WHAT IS THE POINT? The textiles collected in the banks and in your green box are taken away and sorted according to their condition into different grades. They are either then sent to be reused or recycled into a different product. It is calculated that recovering and recycling just 10% of the waste currently sent to landfill in the UK could generate savings of around £23.8million a year, which would not only help our economy but the environment too. Visit loveyourclothes.org.uk around ealing Summer 2014 21