Salvation Army volunteer sorting out donated clothing.

250 tonnes of textiles – equivalent to the weight of thirty elephants - goes to the Salvation Army from East Devon this year

East Devon residents are making a real difference to the lives of the homeless and vulnerable this Christmas as their unwanted clothing and textiles go towards funding the invaluable work of The Salvation Army.

Over the last 12 months, households have recycled an astonishing 250 tonnes of clothes, shoes and textiles which they can put in their green recycling boxes and are collected weekly by East Devon District Council’s contractors Suez UK from the kerbside. The total also includes the textiles collected from the ten Salvation Army clothing banks installed on sites across the district.

All the textiles go the Salvation Army Trading Company Limited (SATCoL) who reuse and recycle them to raise charitable funds and, in turn, help to protect the environment. SATCoL’s re-use and recycling initiatives include more than 200 charity shops, 6,500 clothing banks and a door-to-door collection service which raises millions of pounds a year for the Salvation Army, contributing to its valuable social welfare work.

Louise Blank, from the South West team of the Salvation Army, said:

We are really proud to work in conjunction with East Devon District Council and would like to thank the people of the community for donating a massive 250,000 tonnes of textiles in the last 12 months.

These donations will help to raise funds to support the vital work of The Salvation Army who help vulnerable and disadvantaged people, including those experiencing homelessness this winter.

The organisation works with the homeless, friendless and those in need offering unconditional friendship, and practical help to people of all ages, backgrounds and needs. Its reuse and recycling operation helps fund homelessness and addiction services, care for older people, help at emergency incidents, support for adult victims of human trafficking in England and Wales, a Family Tracing Service and much, much more. For example, the Salvation Army provides around three million nourishing meals at community, drop-in and residential centres for older people, young families and people experiencing homelessness every year as well as providing more than 3,200 beds a night for vulnerable people.

Clothing banks and your weekly kerbside recycling collection are a simple and convenient way to recycle unwanted textiles for the Salvation Army. Suitable items for recycling include, adult and children’s clothing (including underwear, socks and coats), paired shoes, handbags, belts, towels and bed linen.

*Every year an estimated £140 million worth (350,000 tonnes) of used clothing goes to waste in landfill and every year and for every tonne of textiles reused rather than sent into landfill CO2eq (harmful greenhouse gases) are reduced by 7 tonnes.

Further information about SATCoL and its clothes banks and about East Devon District Council’s recycling and waste service is available on their websites.

* Source of statistics: WRAP