Blue Mountains residents embrace textile recycling scheme

Residents across the Blue Mountains have embraced a textile recycling scheme – recycling a total of 42.65 tonnes in just 11 months.

In April 2023, the council partnered with Upcycle 4 Better (U4B) to offer free textile recycling at both the Blaxland and Katoomba waste management facilities.

While Blue Mountains Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill said he knew the Blue Mountains had an extremely well educated and committed community when it comes to living sustainably and protecting the environment, the take-up of the textile recycling scheme has blown he and council staff away.

“In less than a year, our residents have diverted almost 43 tonnes of textiles from landfill, that is staggering. For context, that’s the equivalent of almost 42 Olympic swimming pools of material that won’t go to landfill and create unnecessary and harmful gases that damage the environment,” Greenhill said.

“Clothing and textile waste is one of the biggest contributors to landfill. The beauty of the service we’re providing in partnership with Upcycle 4 Better is that none of the materials end up in landfill.

“It is a true zero waste service, and it’s completely free for all residents to use.”

The textile recycling service is available via bin collection points at both of council’s waste management facilities.

The bins take clothes of any kind, accessories such as belts, hats and shoes, as well as home and outdoor soft furnishings, towels, sheets, cushions, and even soft toys.

All items dropped in the bins are sorted and reused by U4B in different ways, depending on their condition:

  • Wearable clothing and items in good condition are sold for reuse. U4B sells the clothes wherever they’re most needed around the world and uses that money to develop new recycling and upcycling programs.
  • Unwearable or unusable items are sent for repair if possible or reprocessing as industrial cloths and recycling into products such as flooring and rugs.
  • The remaining items that can’t be recycled are used as processed engineered fuel for the construction industry.

Find out more about the textile recovery bins at bmcc.nsw.gov.au/waste

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