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Tonnes more opportunities to recycle textiles

The number of textile banks in the borough has skyrocketed from a mere seven to 47, meaning the amount of clothing recycled has more than doubled in the last six months.

Now that 18 of the borough’s 20 wards have at least one textile bank, residents are beginning to make better use of them, with 9.5 tonnes collected in May, compared to 4.1 tonnes collected in November last year.

Most clothes, shoes and textiles can be recycled. Donations should be clean, dry, bagged up and shoes tied in pairs so that they don’t get separated. TRAID (Textile Recycling for Aid and International Development) are unable to reuse single shoes or recycle wet clothing, duvets, pillows and blankets.

“We’ve really stepped up our game when it comes to textile recycling in the borough,” said Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment.

“By working with the charity TRAID, we have seen the number of banks in the borough increase dramatically and as tonnages rise so more of what our residents discard can be reused or recycled instead of being thrown away with general refuse.”

The Council’s latest campaign to encourage residents to recycle more is called ‘Yes you can’ and highlights the fact that 70 per cent of household waste is recyclable. Things like plastics, tin cans, glass, paper and plastic bags can be put into residents’ green bins, rather than their black bins, diverting them from incineration or landfill.

The Council also offers a free bulky waste collection service that will take away things like old furniture, mattresses etc. With the addition of more facilities for people to recycle clothes, shoes and textiles, recycling has never been easier.

There are of course many charity shops in the borough that will accept items that are still wearable, and in addition to the increase in the number of textile banks around the borough TRAID are also now offering to collect unwanted clothes and shoes from the homes of Waltham Forest residents for free.

The service can be booked online or by phone, allowing you to donate to charity and rid yourself of clutter without any hassle. Collections take place at agreed times so that donations are not left outside where they are vulnerable to theft or bad weather.

A scheduled pickup is also great news for those who may find it difficult to carry donations to a textile bank or charity shop. All the charity asks is that people using this service have a minimum donation of at least one large bin liner sized bag.

For more information visit to find out where your nearest textile bank is or how to arrange a collection. You can also phone on 020 8733 2580 or email

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