Non-clothing textiles

Non-clothing textiles include:

  • mattresses, 
  • soft furnishings,
  • carpets,
  • rugs,
  • underlay, and
  • leisure textiles (tents, tarpaulins etc).

A WRAP study into the composition and re-use potential of household bulky textiles found that of all bulky waste in the UK around 19% (310,000 tonnes) consists of textiles. At HWRCs nearly 30% of these textiles are estimated to be re-usable. A much lower proportion of textiles collected through bulky waste collections at the kerbside were assessed as re-usable (less than 10%).

The WRAP study also found that:

  • 56% of all mattresses disposed of at HWRCs had visible fire safety labels. 
  • Over 25% of all mattresses were assessed as being very clean.
  • Around 20% of carpet at HWRCs was assessed through visual assessment as very clean and suitable for re-use and nearly 30% was heavily soiled and so unsuitable for re-use.

The quantity of mattresses and carpets in bulky waste presents an opportunity to divert large tonnages of waste from disposal. Another study into the viability of collecting non-clothing textiles found that collecting carpets, mattresses and pillows for re-use and recycling can be financially viable. The report details the market options for these materials.

WRAP have also produced reports with details of mattress cleaning techniques and the potential for carpet re-use