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3.1.5 HUMANITA textile recycling

Innovative approach that makes textile collecting possible in Eastern European countries
The system for textile collection by using containers on the streets failed in Eastern European countries. A different model for Bulgaria has been already running successfully for 2 years .
- The first important difference is that the collecting containers are placed not on the streets, but only in premium urban locations in cooperation with big supermarkets, shopping malls, schools, hospitals, residential and business complexes and others.
- Second, the selected areas are also protected either by video cameras or fences, live guards, big traffic and others.
- Furthermore a very appealing design for the collecting containers is developed, produced locally, in order to match aesthetic to the premium looking locations.
- A campaign is also implemented for increasing the awareness and popularization of the environmental, social and economic benefits of the separate textile collecting and the circular economy in the media as well as by participating on public and school events including also fun elements like mascot animators for making the idea more sympathetic.
The last but not least component, that is important for the success, is the donation. For every collected kg, funds are donated to the Bulgarian Red Cross and build a crisis reserve of clothes. This is a huge additional motivational factor for the people to participate and to provide their textiles to the containers.
Resources needed
- 500000 € for ca. 1000 textile collecting containers for covering the 10 biggest cities in Bulgaria for 3 years.
- 150000 € for the initial leasing fee for ca. 30 collecting vehicles for 3 years
- 50000 € for the initial leasing fee for ca. 10 fork lifts
- 100000 € working capital for storing textiles
Evidence of success
The amount of the collected textiles is larger than in other EU countries.
- The donation culture and culture for separate collecting of textile are high
- The stealing events from the containers and the damages are reduced to incidental cases
- The sustainability and efficiency of the textile collecting depends but not only from the quality of the collected textile mix as well as the possibilities for realization of the collected textile for reuse or recycling.
Difficulties encountered
1.The resources for expansion with 1000 containers are limited
2.The realisation opportunities of the collected textile not suitable for reuse are small in Bulgaria.
3.Unlike in other EU countries there is no product tax fund in Bulgaria for supporting financially the separate textile collection.
Potential for learning or transfer
The practice is possible to be implemented in many other Eastern European countries.