Sustainability

The 3 Rs – #3 Recycling.

Sustainability

The 3 Rs – #3 Recycling.

The last in our 3 Rs series is going to be looking at recycling. Sometimes we need to get rid of items but it is important that we take care with where our waste goes, so here’s some top tips for you!

Recycling Clothes 

There are a whole host of different ways to recycle clothes that you no longer need, where it could go does depend on the condition that it is in though. 

If your clothes are in good condition you can donate them to a local charity shop. These will then get resold, with the money going towards the work that the charity is doing. This is a two fold solution to unwanted clothes, not only are you decluttering your space and giving your clothes a new life, you are helping a charity continue the good work that they do! 

In Canterbury there are many charity shops you could donate your clothes to, here are just a small selection:

Image description: the British Red Cross logo.

The British Red Cross store is based at 10a Burgate, CT1 2HG. Read more about what they can accept and the work they do here.

There are 2 British Heart Foundation Stores in Canterbury, one is based at 25 St Peter’s St, CT1 2BQ and the other is at 12 St George’s St, CT1 2SR. Read more about what they can accept and the work they do here!

Image description: the Pilgrims Hospice logo.

The Pilgrims Hospice has over 30 shops in Kent! In Canterbury they have a Vintage and Retro shop based at 19 Burgate, CT1 2HG. To find their other stores and learn what you can donate visit their website.

What about unusable clothes?

Recycling unusable/unwearable clothes can be really tricky. 

An article from the BBC established that ‘Globally just 12% of the material used for clothing ends up being recycled. Compare that to paper, glass and plastic PET bottles – which have recycling rates of 66%, 27% and 29% respectively in the US – and it is clear clothing lags behind.’ In fact, what I found most interesting from this article is where some of the material being used comes from, ‘most of the recycled polyester being used now by leading fashion brands in fact comes from bottles rather than old clothing.’

This doesn’t mean you should give up and put your unusable clothes into the landfill though!!

Using this handy-dandy tool from Recycle Now you can find clothing and textile banks where you can donate your unwanted items. 

Image description: a close up of someone unscrewing a circuit board from inside a piece of electronic equipment.

Unwanted Electricals 

Recycling electricals can be considered somewhat easier than recycling clothes. Some local authorities can collect small electrical items as part of their kerbside collection (To check what can be put in the recycling bin in your area use this tool by Recycle now) otherwise you can recycle these and larger items at selected retailers and at Household Waste Recycling Centres.

Having your electronics managed by an electronics recycler means that many of your old computers’ working components will be reused.  Reusing components reduces the amount that ends up in landfill and can reduce the use of precious resources.

So there you have it – when reusing is no longer viable, make sure you recycle your stuff to the best places you can, when you can!

by Amy Bayliss-Fox, SGO Project Officer #livingwell

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