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A transparant chain, environmental gain and regional employment are leading.

8 municipalities in the working area of Circulus-Berkel (the waste company of ACR+ member Cleantech Region) have decided to sort the collected textiles on a regional scale by use of social employment. After sorting, the textiles will be processed in a transparant and socially responsible way. Circulus-Berkel started an innovative procurement procedure in May 2017. Leger des Heils ReShare has won the tender and will set up a post-consumer textiles sorting center for rewearable and non-rewearable textiles in Deventer. Deventer Working Talent will provide for the 25 jobs that are involved. Simon Smedinga, operational manager Leger des Heils ReShare: ‘The new textile sorting center combines all of our goals: employment opportunities for people with a distance to the job market. A new life for rewearable textile, for example for people with low incomes. And closing the loop for textiles in the Netherlands because we also treat non-rewearable clothes’. The approach and collaboration are groundbreaking  for the Netherlands.   

Useful reuse

 The production of textile has a huge impact on the environment. A lot of raw materials are necessary for the making of clothes, like wool, cotton and petroleum. But also land, water, energy and pesticides. Reuse through rewearing or recycling is therefore important. The vast part of the collected textiles in the Netherlands however are exported all over the world and literally out of sight. Useful or responsible reuse is unclear. The question what happens with a certain waste stream is however becoming more and more important in the strive for a circular economy.

Profit for people and environment

 To make the textile chain more circular and transparant, 8 municipalities (Apeldoorn, Bronckhorst, Brummen, Deventer, Doesburg, Epe, Lochem en Zutphen) have decided to sort the textiles within their own region. It’s about 2,1 million kilo textiles that inhabitants deliver through textile containers and the BEST-bag (a bag specific for books, electronics, toys and textiles that’s collected at home). The municipalities set requirements for traceability: it has to be controllable where the textile is going to. The new textile sorting center also needs to stimulate social employment and make profit for people as well as the environment.

Far-reaching collaboration

 The municipalities in the working area of Circulus-Berkel have one of the highest separation percentages of the Netherlands and are frontrunners in reducing the amount of residual waste. On avarage almost 69% is delivered separately by the municipalities; nationwide it’s 55%. But the 8 municipalities have ambition and want to take the next step. In 2015 they signed the Cleantech Convenant in which they declared to work together to regionally close the chains and reduce the use of primary raw materials. Good progress already has been made for the raw material chain of glass and paper. The next raw material chain on the agenda of the municipalities is textile. For that, far-reaching collaboration within the chain is essential. Circulus-Berkel, together with the Cleantech Region, is actively working with other partners to reach this ambitious goal.

For more information, contact Ineke Lijnema (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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