How much do we waste?
In Norfolk approximately 8,500 tonnes of textiles that could be reused or recycled are thrown away every year. Nationally this adds up to £140 million worth of used clothing going to landfill.
Make the most of your textiles
Extending the average life of clothes by just three months of active use would lead to a 5-10% reduction in each of the carbon, water and waste footprints. It would also mean we get much more value out of our clothes and save money.
There are lots of ways to give unloved or forgotten textiles a new lease of life – from donating them for reuse or recycling, to repairing or maybe even upcycling them into something new and exciting. Smarter buying and better care can also help to make your clothes look good for longer.
For more information about smarter buying, clothing care, repair and upcycling please click here.
Fancy learning some new sewing skills? Take a look at a selection of the adult learning courses that are available in Norfolk.
Don't Throw Them Away!
Norfolk County Council’s main recycling centres accept a wide variety of clothes and other textiles. Clothes, shoes and other textiles are sorted, with good quality items being worn again in the UK or abroad. If you are bringing textile items to a recycling centre please place unsoiled items in a bag before depositing them.
Charity shops, textile banks and bagged collections will take good quality clothing, shoes and often other household textile items for reuse. Some may also accept worn out or damaged items.
All items must be clean and dry.
Damaged or worn out items that are beyond repair can be difficult to recycle. Instead, why not cut up any you may have and use them for rags?
Please click here for further details of what items can be accepted where.
Kerbside Textile Recyling - Norwich and Broadland only
Textiles, clothing and shoes can now be collected alongside your rubbish and recycling in the Norwich area and in Broadland from 4 April 2022.
Place any clean, dry textiles in a standard-sized carrier bag (no black bin liners) then place it next to your recycling or black waste bin by 7am on your collection day.
Please don’t put bagged textiles in your bins as they won’t be collected.
Textiles we can collect:
- pillowcases, sheets and duvet covers
- shoes tied together in pairs
Textiles we cannot collect:
- soiled textiles
What to do with textiles that cannot be collected
Textiles can be placed in your rubbish bin if there is space and the lid remains closed. Alternatively they can be taken to Norfolk County Council recycling centres.
What happens to the textiles collected?
Items that are suitable for reuse are currently sent to places in the UK and Ghana. Items that are not suitable for reuse are sent for recycling in the UK. Textiles can be recycled and used for mattress fillers, car seat fillers and also rags for wipers in the motor industry.
What to do if my bin has been emptied but my bags are not collected?
If your items are not collected at the same time as your bin, providing you have not been left a note to say why the items have been left, please leave them out as a vehicle will return later that day.
Collections for communal bins
This service is initially for properties that have their own individual bins and not communal / shared bins. Trials may take place for these bins and residents will be notified in advance. If you do not have access to this service please continue to reuse items, wherever possible through friends, family, recycling centres, charity shops and online sites. If the items are not reusable they can be recycled at some drop off points such as Norfolk County Council recycling centres or textile banks which can be found with our Bin Genie.
By collecting textiles for reuse and recycling you can raise money for your school and help the environment too!
Norfolk County Council has teamed up with The Salvation Army’s ‘Recycle with Michael’ scheme to offer all Norfolk schools the chance to do just that by recycling textiles.
Please click here for more information and to find out how to sign up for a collection.