Textile Recycling ♻️: In recent news, NSW had a successful recycling program for old, used or worn-out textiles. The program that transpired showed that many Australians are eager, at the very least, to contribute to a more sustainable and less polluted environment. Check out our thoughts about it while we share some useful information and read more below. 


Did you know that clothing is a part of the basic human necessities? Along with food and shelter, they are on the list of immediate basic needs of humans to survive.

Aside from it being a necessity, people also view it as an art form, sort of. That is what we would call “fashion”. People tend to spend lavishly on clothes because of this.

In fact, Statista ranked Australians as the number 1 money spender on clothes. That speaks a lot about how valuable clothes are for Australians.

With that said, we’ve all had our fair share of favourite shirts or trousers in our lifetime. May it be for fashion or comfortability, some of our clothing stand out to us more than the other and as a result, wear out faster. But we managed and still wore it time and time again until it cannot be worn by you, much less donated to others, anymore. What do we do with the worn-out clothing, then?

We would want to, of course, avoid sending our worn-out, unwearable clothing to Australian landfills. For quite some time, we’ve had few options on where to send those, but that may change in NSW now because of the successful textile recycling trial conducted, which we share with you below.

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A bit about Waster

Before we continue our topic on textile recycling, let me share more information about Waster.

Waster is an innovative solution for your waste management and recycling needs. Instead of offering long lock-in contracts, Waster offers flexible 30-day contracts which prove to be a good business move, instead. You pay exactly what you have signed up for and not a dollar more! Our month to month contracts means exactly that.

Click on the blue button below to learn more.

READ: Extended Producer Responsibility EPR ♻️

With this in mind, let us continue with the blog on textile recycling.



Bathurst Regional Council’s established textile recycling program

Mr Waster, while drinking his morning coffee, was very pleased to read a while back that a regional council in NSW showcased many Australians elated to have environmentally responsible options to deal with their textiles. The initiative, called the textile recycling program, prompted Australians to show their ‘environmentalist’ side.

Spearheaded by the Bathurst Regional Council, they collected and recycled a whopping 1,600kg of textiles in just a month. Talk about a sea of textiles waiting to be recycled!

“We underestimated it — we thought it would be something new, it might be a handful of people,” as stated by Bathurst Council waste management coordinator Ray Trevorah in an interview with ABC News.

Not only does it involve clothes recycling, but it also includes beddings, curtains and other old textiles. They were successfully collected and recycled through the program.

The trial continued for two more months while partnering with Textile Recyclers Australia, a Sydney-based company that opened a recycling facility in which they can continue their efforts for a more circular economy in fashion.


How did they recycle them?

Basically, the program intended the reusing of worn-out textile in three ways:

“as clothing in developing nations; cut up for rags and cleaning uses; and broken down into fibres through innovative recycling processes, for re-creation into entirely new fabrics for various uses.”


A textile problem

Why did the Bathurst Regional Council create this textile program?

Of course, it has something to do with the tonnes of discarded textile waste, along with leather and rubber, and a majority of it going to landfill.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, around 75 per cent of the 800,000 tonnes of the discarded textile, leather and rubber waste went straight into landfill without a chance of recovery. 90 per cent of this waste came from households, which strengthened the fact that waste management should start at homes.


Some helpful tips on textile recycling

Reading the news above certainly made Waster’s day. As a result, we would also want to give those who did not have access to the three-month textile recycling trial tips on what they can do with their own textile.

So, what can you do with your used textile? Here, we share some tips with you.

First, determine the status of your textile? Are they too worn-out to use or still fairly usable? If your choice was the latter, there are plenty of options you can take to recycle your textiles.

Donate them if possible. Many less fortunate people could use them, especially in cold weather. You can also pass them down to your family. Maybe your siblings or even kids would like them. Or, you can give them to your relatives such as your younger cousins or nieces/nephews. Renting textiles (e.g., a suit and tie outfit) would also be a good idea that can also earn you some money. Finally, you can sell them to also earn some quick money.

Correspondingly, if your choice was the former, then you have the option of upcycling them. Basically, upcycling means transforming something into a completely new item. Turn them into rags for cleaning or animal beddings – perfect for your pets such as cats and/or dogs!

If upcycling is a no-go, then you can contact your local council about textile collections. Maybe they might have something for you.

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Clothing recycling: how it’s done

Can you recycle your old clothes? Answer: Yes, you can! Check out our related blog on recycling metal clothes hangers.

Recycling clothes is part of a more general process called textile recycling, our focused topic on this blog. The process involves recovering old, worn-out clothes for sorting and processing.

There are many end-products that you can get from recycling clothes! This includes items like pillow stuffing, car seat stuffing, cloth scraps, and rags.

Additionally, recycling clothing does not always equate to shredding it up and transforming it into something else.

You can either resell or donate them to other people, instead.

Let us first discuss recycling. Maybe you have clothes that you don’t want anymore, so why not resort to recycling?

According to Recyclenow, this is how you recycle clothes and textiles:

  • Do a little bit of research and find out if your local council collects clothes and textiles for recycling.
  • Drop them off at recycling points.
  • Donate them to charity.
  • Find textile companies who can arrange collections to help raise money for a cause.

Additionally, Planet Ark also gave some tips on how to dispose of and recycle your old clothes. Here are they:

  • Create your own cleaning rags.
  • Transform old towels and blankets into pet bedding for your cat or dog.
  • Swap with your friends and family.
  • Cut up garments made from natural fibres into small pieces or strips and place them in your compost bin.
  • Make new garments out of the old if you’re handy with a sewing machine and have an eye for design, or better yet, teach yourself how!


Textile recycling organisations

“Where can I find textile recycling facilities near me?”

You can give out your worn textiles to organisations that can sell them to companies that accept them. Planet Ark has listed clothing retailers  H&M, Zara and Upparel (formerly Manrags) as primary examples for this.

We also mentioned other companies that collect and recycle clothes. Those examples include the following companies:

If you are looking for companies who collect and recycle clothes, let me enumerate some for you.

Australian Clothing Recyclers – they are a commercial recycling company. In general, they specialise in recycling clothing, shoes, bags, and other textiles to zero waste management.  They collect items such as wearable clothing, pillowcases, blankets, shoes, handbags, crockery, glassware, kitchenware, and many other items. They also pride themselves in helping local community projects and charities. Additionally, they implemented a no plastic bag policy, which is nice to know.

King Cotton – their slogan, “helping keep Australia CLEAN and GREEN”, proves to be true up to this day. Since 1980, King Cotton Australia managed to collect approximately 200,000 tonnes of clothing and textiles, diverting them from landfill. They are a resource recovery company that collects clothing and textile materials. 95 per cent of their collected textile ends up being reused and worn in third world countries.

Clothing Cleanup – if you have unwanted clothes, why not give them up to Clothing Cleanup? Now, why should you use them? According to Clothing Cleanup “Australians dispose of 600 kgs of clothing every minute, which is equal to the weight of almost 8 people. This makes us the second-largest consumer of textiles in the world. Only 15 per cent of all unwanted clothes are given a new life or recycled properly, meaning the majority is thrown away to landfill. We are committed to reducing our environmental footprint. Using our Clothing Cleanup service, we can together reduce the amount of textile waste that gets sent to landfill every year”.

Again, be sure to check Planet Ark out for more information on where you can send or drop off your textiles.


What about damaged clothing?

Would you be able to recycle damaged clothing like the non-damaged ones?

Yes, you can. In fact, they’re as recyclable as new ones! Additionally, according to Bustle, you can repurpose them as rags, donate them to an animal shelter, turn them into arts + crafts projects, and even compost them.


Clothes recycling: upcycling clothes

Aside from recycling, you can also upcycle them.

What do I mean by upcycling? Well, upcycling means reusing a material while retaining its quality. Additionally, it differs from recycling. Recycling means turning materials back into a new version of the same product while upcycling is used to make a new product entirely.

For example, you can patch up your old, worn-out t-shirts and upcycle them into shopping bags.


Textile recycling: conclusion

We hope that many more regional councils aside from Bathurst deal with their textile waste and do everything in their capabilities to collect, recycle or repurpose them. Textile pollution, like any other types of items, can become a real pain if not properly addressed.

Instead of disposing of old, worn-out clothes and other types of textile in a landfill, we should instead find ways on how to recycle, reuse or repurpose them.


Waster: make waste management and recycling fashionable

Make it a habit and become more conscious of the environment! Just like clothes, we can make waste management and recycling a “fashion” statement. In today’s age, whatever trends there are, almost everyone is sure to follow.

In this case, we will continue to advocate the importance of waste management and recycling.


Contact Waster today

Are you a business in need of waste and recycling bin services?

Check out our waste recycling shop, and evaluate what service/s you need from us.

If so, please call 1300 WASTER (1300 927 837), or email us at enquiries@waster.com.au if you have any further questions and find the best deals in terms of pricing and services.


Avail waste management provider’s services, partner up with Waster!

You can work with a waste management company (like Waster). Waster, in particular, will arrange you with waste management services to streamline and handle the waste generated. We provide many services ranging from the general waste bin and commingled recycling up to the recycling of particular items like food waste/organic (best way on how to reduce food waste in a number of industries) and paper and cardboard recycling.

Additionally, we will always advise you to recycle, as this is a guaranteed way of saving costs. Any type of business in Australia will never have to worry about their waste management practices. We will handle it for them! Check out our YouTube channel and find videos that can help with your waste management and recycling.

Again, Waster: Waste Management for Smart Businesses!

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