Charities increasingly finding waste in clothing collection bins: report
Dutch charity organizations that collect textiles for reuse or second-hand sales are increasingly struggling with people who dump their chemical- and other household waste in the clothing bins. The clothing that they collect from the public containers are so contaminated that they often cannot be used anymore. The umbrella organization for textile recycling VHT is therefore calling on the government and municipalities to intervene, Trouw reports.
According to VHT, citizens should be better informed about what they can and cannot throw in the clothing collection bins. The clothing collectors, including the Salvation Army and foundation Sympany, largely blame this problem on municipal waste policies. Municipalities are making it harder for citizens to get rid of their waste, for example by issuing access passes for neighborhood bins or making citizens pay for their waste. And while this leads to more recycling and less residual waste, it is also resulting in more and more garbage ending up in charities' clothing bins, the organizations said to Trouw.
Contamination, combined with the poorer quality of today's clothing, means that the charities are raising less and less money through textile collection. If nothing changes, the collection of clothing will be a thing of the past within a few years, a Sympany spokesperson said to the newspaper.
The organizations therefore also want to be released from contracts concluded with municipalities. Currently charities often have to pay a fixed amount per kilogram of clothing collected through public clothing bins. But due to the disappointing proceeds from the resale, the system is no longer cost-effective. This may eventually result in charities losing rather than raising money.
Every year charity organizations collect around 80 million kilograms of textiles in the Netherlands.