A three-month recycling program is underway, partnering Bathurst Regional Council with Textile Recyclers Australia.
The project reuses reclaimed fabrics as clothes for developing nations, rags for cleaning purposes, or reprocessing into fibres for new fabrics. It has reused an estimated 1,600 kilograms in the first month, the ABC reports.
Residents had taken old clothes to op shops, said the council’s waste management coordinator Dr Ray Trevorah but, “with COVID restrictions, and increasing amounts of clothing waste, we are seeing more and more of that material ending up in people’s kerbside bins or ending up in the pit, decomposing in landfill, which has been contributing to council’s, and everyone’s, emissions.”
Most of the recycled material had come from the community, with some of it from the Bathurst Community Op Shop.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates nearly a quarter of the 800,000 tonnes of textile, leather and rubber waste disposed of in 2018/19 went into landfill. According to one estimate, Australia is second to only the US in consuming new textiles per capita, averaging 27 kilograms annually.
The trial is expected to continue beyond its scheduled end in March.
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