Recycling confusion

I regularly go to our nearest recycling centre with glass, plastics and metals. That is to say, mostly bottles and cans, which are well catered-for.

A little further away (at Morrisons) is a bigger recycling centre that accepts a lot more stuff. Today I packed up a big pile of old clothes and took them there. The condition of the clothes ranged from very tatty (well-worn) through to wearable for someone with the waistline I had 20 years ago.

Approaching the clothing receptacle, I saw it asked for good quality clothes! Does that mean it’s expecting them to be re-used as-is? That would put them in direct competition with the charity shops, begging the questions what’s the point? and the more pressing if not here, where do I go to recycle clothing materials?

As it happened, there was a man with a lorry loading/unloading bottle banks. Perhaps he’d know where the stuff goes and what they can really use? I asked, and he didn’t know, but suggested I put everything in anyway and leave it to “them” on the other end to sort through what they can use. So I did that, but I’d like to know for future reference what they do with recycled stuff beyond bottles, cans and papers.

Posted on May 6, 2009, in recycling. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I have asked myself the same question. To the best of my knowledge the bank at Morrisons is operated by the Salvation Army and they want wearable items only. They recycle them either for resale in their shops or for donation to the homeless people who use their services. They don’t want rags. Yes, they do compete with the charity shops, but I think they accept a wider range of items (eg clean underwear) that many charity shops won’t take. Also I guess there are some people who aren’t able to visit the charity shops during opening hours, or who simply want to dispose of all their recycling in one place, so it may well provide a useful incremental service.

  2. As I understand it, our local collections (N-Somerset) take textiles from the “doorstep” (actually end-of-road) collections if they’re in a bag in the box.

    I wonder if your Crowndale Recycling Centre has a general textile bank – but that site is wildly inaccurate for our local collections and centres anyway, so who knows?

    Recycling is a completely inconsistent postcode lottery in England and it’s bloody silly.

  3. FWIW, Crowndale is where to take more “challenging” stuff, like dead electronic equipment. But unlike Morrisons, it’s not somewhere I’d walk from here: the approach is a narrow and rather busy road with no verges or anything, and the fragrance of a sewage works. So that would’ve meant taking the stuff back home, repacking it, and jumping on the bike.

  4. Yes, sounds like the recycling centre next to the old airfield at WsM. Utterly impractical to get to except with a car. Environmentally-sustainable? Ha bloody ha.

    The kicker is that there are even some things (drink cartons I think) accepted elsewhere which aren’t accepted at the “challenging stuff” site.

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