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Textiles scheme in line for award (25 Apr 2013)

A flagship Merseyside project designed to save tax payers money and stop 22,000 tonnes of textiles going to landfill is in line for a major national award.

The Merseyside Textile Forum was set up by Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority to help charities work together to jointly promote the benefits of reusing and recycling old clothes and other textiles of which 22kg can be recycled per household in Merseyside.

It costs Merseyside council taxpayers an estimated £1.58M in landfill costs to dispose of old clothing and textiles and adds almost 85,600 tonnes of CO2 to the environment.

Merseyside Textile Forum aims to drastically cut these numbers by getting more people recycling old textiles and rags and encouraging more residents to send quality clothes and shoes to local charity shops for reuse.  In just a year, the project – the first of its kind in the country – has got backing from 20 charity organisations and launched a string of high profile campaigns to get the textile ‘Pass It On’ message across.

This project, which has already won a bronze award in the transformation in waste and efficiency category at the national Innovation and Efficiency Awards 2013, has now been shortlisted for the best Local Authority Innovation in the National Recycling Awards.

MRWA chairperson Councillor Joe DeAsha said: “The Forum is an inspired idea which has persuaded individual charities that they have more to gain than lose by working together to promote a shared message about recycling.

“It’s still early days but we’re confident the Forum is making a big difference to recycling levels – and our confidence is clearly shared by the award judges in the National Recycling Awards.”

Note to Editors

1. The key aim of the Forum’s activities in the first year of operation has been focused on raising awareness and communications to help residents understand the options available to them when no longer needing clothes and textiles. The Forum plans to evaluate the projects to identify how much behavioural change has occurred looking at increases in donations to charity shops on Merseyside and reduction in textiles sent to landfill.
2. Merseyside Textile Forum includes leading high street charity retailers like British Heart Foundation, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, the Salvation Army and the Charity Retail Association.
3. The winner of the Local Authority Innovation award will be announced at the National Recycling Awards in London in July.
4. Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (formerly Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority) is responsible for the disposal of municipal waste on Merseyside. Established in 1986 following the abolition of Merseyside County Council, it is a statutory Authority that works with all the local authorities on Merseyside – Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral. MRWA takes a lead in advocating recycling, waste minimisation and safe and effective disposal of waste for Merseyside’s residents.

Further information from Jon Flinn on 0151 709 0505