Suffolk: Thousands could be saved if more fabrics are recycled

ALL materials for recycling in Suffolk are taken to the MRF at Great Blakenham – except that collected in Waveney which goes to another centre in Norfolk.

Once at the MRF the waste is loaded on to a conveyor belt, and as it goes through the system it is sorted.

Bags of used clothes and fibres are among the first things to be separated and are put into huge hoppers for collection.

Loose clothes can be salvaged – but all too often they are too dirty or wet and have to end up in a separate pile which does end up in landfill.

The MRF staff separate all the different forms of recycleable material – paper, plastics, metal and other goods which are put into recycling bins.

It handles 44,500 tonnes of waste a year – and between 95-96 per cent of that is now able to be recycled.

That is a huge increase on the proportion when recycling started in Suffolk eight years ago.

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Recycling not only allows material to be re-used, it also cuts the cost of waste disposal for the county council.

The government’s landfill tax was introduced to try to encourage people to reduce the amount of waste they throw out, and has become a major cost for local authorities.

The county estimates it could save �600,000 a year if it is able to eliminate the 7,000 tonnes of fabric and clothes that are currently sent to landfill sites.

To get the message across, a number of well-known statues around the county have been dressed in recycled clothes.

Cardinal Wolsey, in Curson Place, has become Cardigan Woolsey for the day to promote the recycling push – and other well-known Suffolk figures from all parts of the county have been showing off their style.

Their temporary clothes are now being recycled – hopefully after inspiring the people of Suffolk to follow their lead!

What can be put in clothes’ recycling bags:

All clean and dry clothing, shoes, boots, wellington boots, slippers, hats, scarves, gloves, bed linen, blankets, sheets, pillowcases, handbags, belts, clean underwear, curtains, towels, tea towels and stuffed toys.

Unacceptable items:

Dirty or oily items, duvets, quilts, sleeping bags, pillows, cushions and carpets.

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