Textile Recycling

You can help turn rags into riches for Wiltshire Air Ambulance, simply by recycling your unwanted textiles, clothing and shoes!

We’ve teamed up with local companies, Hills Waste Solutions and Devizes Textiles Ltd, who have agreed to make a very generous £25 donation to WAA for every tonne of textiles recycled through household recycling centres, black box kerbside collections and at mini recycling sites operated by Hills and Devizes Textiles Ltd across the county.  

If every household in Wiltshire donated one large bag of old clothing and shoes to the WAA, it would generate over 2,000 tonnes of recyclable goods per year and significant funds for our life-saving charity!

Don’t forget, you can use your black kerbside recycling box for textiles too.

The more locations we have, the more successful the scheme will be, so if you have or know of an easily accessible location which would be suitable for a textile bank, then please email hello@wiltshireairambulance.co.uk.

Textile recycling facts and figures: 

60% of recycled clothing is exported as second hand clothing 

All clothing that is recycled is carefully checked for condition and quality and items which are suitable to be worn again are exported to second hand clothing markets. 

25% is recycled into fillings and new yarns 

Clothes that are worn out, damaged, have a high wool content or are made of ‘heavy’ yarns are not suitable as second hand clothing and these get made into other products or yarns and some can simply be compressed to create textile fillings. In the case of polyester-based materials, the fabric is shredded, then granulated and turned into polyester chips. The chips are melted and spun into new filament fibres used to make new polyester fabrics. 

10% is recycled into industrial wiping cloths 

These are mainly cotton and silk materials which are made into paper products or dusters / wiping cloths and sold back to industry for cleaning and polishing. There are many grades of materials suitable for different applications across a range of industries such as furniture production, car production and the mining sector. 

5% is waste 

Clothing that is wet or soiled cannot be recycled. 

Shoes, handbags and belts 

These items can all be recycled if they are in good condition and can be reused. Shoes need to be secured in pairs as odd and damaged shoes cannot be recycled. 

Sports bags, rucksacks and belts are all graded in the same way as clothing and are exported to second hand clothing markets. 

No thanks 

Textile recyclers cannot process materials such as feather pillows, duvets, carpets, PVC plastics, odd shoes, and ‘hard’ toys and these should not be placed in the textile recycling bins.

For more information on textile recycling visit www.recycleforwiltshire.com

A full list of household recycling and mini textile banks can be found here.