Community groups benefit from new textile recycling scheme

Community groups in Brighton & Hove will soon be reaping the rewards from the council’s new textile recycling scheme.

The scheme, which was introduced in March this year, has already raised more than £5,000 for local projects after the council collected 86 tonnes of unwanted clothes and shoes.

The money will be distributed as part of Brighton & Hove City Council’s annual grant funding scheme.

Now residents are being encouraged to raise even more money for local projects by donating all their unwanted clothes and shoes. They are also being invited to suggest new locations for the popular recycling banks.

Environment councillor Gill Mitchell, said: “It’s great that, after just four months, community groups will soon be benefitting from the textile recycling scheme. We hope that many more residents will be encouraged to make full use of this service, dropping off their unwanted clothes and shoes at one of our textile banks, and raising valuable funds for community groups across the city.”

Cllr Gill Mitchell at one of the new textile recycling banks

Brighton & Hove City Council introduced the scheme in a bid to streamline textile collection services in the city, help boost recycling rates and ensure that any money raised would be spent locally and benefit Brighton & Hove residents. 

There are currently 65 sites with textile banks across Brighton & Hove and council officers are keen to hear suggestions for additional sites. New banks have recently been installed outside Kings House in Garden Avenue, Hove and Bartholomew Square in Brighton. The council is also considering offering collections to schools and other organisations.

The textile banks are supplied, maintained and operated by ‘European Recycling Company.’ Textiles are taken to facilities where they are sorted in to different grades. Wearable items are sold on either in the UK or abroad and the remainder is sold to the ‘flocking industry’ for shredding and re-spinning.  

Revenue from the scheme goes towards improving recycling services in the city, and 40 per cent is set aside for grants to local community groups and charities.