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Rags will make riches for Wiltshire Air Ambulance

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Pictured: l-r, Steve Burns, divisional director, Hills Waste Solutions; Wiltshire Air Ambulance paramedic, Matt Baskerville and Shahid Siddiq, managing director of Devizes Textiles Ltd, show just how easy it is to recycle your unwanted textiles and raise funds.

Pictured: l-r, Steve Burns, divisional director, Hills Waste Solutions; Wiltshire Air Ambulance paramedic, Matt Baskerville and Shahid Siddiq, managing director of Devizes Textiles Ltd, show just how easy it is to recycle your unwanted textiles and raise funds.

A MASSIVE financial boost is on the cards for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance as a new initiative is launched that will see a cash donation made to the charity when residents in the county recycle their unwanted textiles, clothing and shoes.

Local companies, Hills Waste Solutions and Devizes Textiles, have agreed to make a £25 donation to the air ambulance 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.    Steve Burns, divisional director for Hills Waste Solutions explained,  “Last year Wiltshire residents recycled nearly 1,000 tonnes of textiles and if we do the same again this year it will mean a fantastic £25,000 boost for Wiltshire Air Ambulance.  However, I am confident that people will take up the challenge to recycle more and support this life-saving charity.”

Danny Williamson from Devizes Textiles, who already operate 90 mini textile recycling sites to raise money for the local air ambulance said, “This is a really worthwhile project to help raise further funds for the air ambulance, and what better way can you do it. We can help generate a much needed regular and reliable income, as well as having the extra benefit of recycling and reducing waste.

If every household in Wiltshire donated one large bag of old clothing and shoes to Wiltshire Air Ambulance, it would generate over 2,000 tonnes of recyclable goods per year. This could raise significant funds.”

Cheryl Johnson, Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s head of fundraising and development said, “Not only will this green scheme generate much needed funds for the air ambulance, but with support of the people of Wiltshire, it will help produce an important regular income for the charity and our life-saving work. We are extremely grateful to Hills Waste Solutions and Devizes Textiles Ltd for their very generous support and getting this scheme up and running.”

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.

Hills operate 11 household recycling centres and numerous mini recycling sites under its contract with Wiltshire Council. A full list of all the participating household recycling centres and other recycling points can be found at www.recycleforwiltshire.com. The full list of Devizes Textiles mini textile recycling bank locations can be found at www.wiltshireairambulance.co.uk/support-us/textile-recycling