What better time of year to have a good sort out of your wardrobe than the start of a new one? This is the why The Fire Fighters Charity’s January Bag it and Bank It campaign is now underway, encouraging fire stations to collect as many shoes and as much clothing as they can to raise much-needed funds to help firefighters in need.
Last January, 755 fire stations across the UK took part in the event. They raised a whopping £52,507 and kept a staggering 230 tonnes of clothing from going into landfill. That’s the equivalent weight of around 19 fire engines. But they want to do even better this year, targeting £60,000 this month.
The team from Bingham Fire Station (pictured) collected more than any other fire station within Nottinghamshire last year and were also fourth nationally in terms of the weight of the clothes received and the money raised (£369.60).
To mark their efforts, the team at Bingham were presented with a special "Outstanding Effort" award at the station on 8 March - a particularly impressive achievement considering they didn't have a textile bank at the station.
Egremont Fire Station in Cumbria was crowned the winner, with more than 11,000kg collected.
Kevin Biles, Sales and Recycling Manager at the charity, said: “The support of our fire and rescue services have demonstrated for textiles recycling has been superb since day one. If it wasn’t for their help and enthusiasm, we simply wouldn’t be where we are today.
"Textiles recycling has generated over £3 million worth of income which has gone towards supporting our fire and rescue beneficiaries."
The donated clothing, shoes, handbags and textiles are collected are recycled in a number of ways.
Wearable clothing is re-used and usually sold in under-developed countries. Any textiles that are un-wearable are recycled into such items as industrial wipers and car upholstery and also re-used in the production of many other items.
The income generated for The Fire Fighters Charity from textile recycling helps fund the physical, psychological and community support for those in the firefighting community who are in need.
Find you local recycling bank here.