04 May 2020
Hold on to your clothes, or lose them to landfill

Somerset is being asked to hold on to its unwanted clothes and textiles to make sure they don’t end up in landfill.

Somerset Waste Partnership is committed to making sure everything it collects that can be recycled, is recycled and recycled close to home. Last year more than 92% of Somerset’s recycling stayed in the UK, cutting the same carbon as taking 25,000 cars off the road (https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/slider/beyond-the-kerb/)

But Coronavirus is making that impossible to guarantee, so kerbside textile recycling collections are being suspended until the situation improves.

COVID19 has seen both the national and international market for textiles grind to halt, and any materials collected now may well end up in landfill.

Closed charity shops mean more clothes at the kerbside for recycling. But with nowhere for them to be sold on, they have to be stored in depots where they will eventually become damp, mouldy and only fit for landfill.

Residents are encouraged to keep unwanted textiles – that are of good enough quality to be worn again - at home until they can be taken to charity shops or the SWP kerbside collections restart.

Despite depleted crews and much larger than normal levels of waste and recycling, staff have been working flat out to make sure recycling, rubbish, clinical waste and food waste collections have continued largely unaffected.

However, garden waste services have had to be suspended to keep those core services going, and recycling sites have also been closed in line with the Government advice around non-essential travel.

Plans are being finalised for the reintroduction of garden waste collections, and the reopening of recycling sites - depending on government advice. This week work also started on clearing the backlog of well over 1,000 requests for replacement or new recycling boxes and rubbish bins.

Mickey Green, Managing Director of SWP, said: “If people put items out for recycling, then they have every right to expect that they will be recycled. Right now, we just can’t promise that that will happen to textiles so we’re asking people to hold on until things improve. This isn’t about the money it’s about our commitment to the environment.”

Please note: many community textile collection banks are not being collected at the moment, though sometimes it’s not always obvious. If you cannot place your unwanted textiles in the collection bank, please do not leave it next to the banks as it won’t necessarily be picked up.

For more information about how oy reduce and reuse your waste, visit www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/coronavirus For the latest information about services and any disruption visit www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/coronavirus and follow @somersetwaste on Twitter and Facebook.

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