waste awareness

Barna Recycling’s Top Tips For Recycling & Upcycling Old Clothing/Textiles

Here at Barna Recycling, we often find our customers wondering the best way to dispose of old clothes and textiles that have already seen their share of wear & tear. But don’t worry, we got you covered. This blog has outlined plenty of sustainable ways for you to repurpose, recycle, and dispose of old textiles.

1) Shop Smart

Did you know that the textile industry is the second largest contributor to global pollution? (Source: mywaste.ie)

Every piece of clothing you own or use has undergone a complex manufacturing process that utilises a high amount of electricity, water, and energy sources.

When you choose to recycle & upcycle unwanted textiles, you save energy by reducing/ eliminating the need to make materials from scratch. Before purchasing a new piece of clothing, shoes, etc., always think if you need it and will you wear it.

2) Donate to charity

You can also donate clothes & textiles in good condition to local charity shops as there are often non-profits and charities that would be highly grateful for your donation. Generally, the proceeds from clothing sales in charity shops are used to support causes in your local area or community. Some organisations accepting clothing donations are Enable Ireland, Oxfam, NCBI, Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) and Liberty Recycling. The Irish Charity Shops Association website will help you to find your nearest charity shops & clothing banks near you.

Top Barna Recycling Tips:

  • When you donate clothes to a charity shop, you give life to your old clothes and provide financial assistance towards a good cause.
  • When dropping your unwanted clothes at a charity shop, familiarise yourself with other items they may accept for upcycling or re-selling, such as household goods, books, electrical items etc., as some of these shops also take things other than clothes.
  • When dropping off clothes, always look at what’s for re-sale and help the charity by purchasing something on the same journey.
  • Be sure to check in advance if the charity shop accepts bedclothes & duvets.
  • It’s essential to check in advance if heavily soiled or damaged clothes will still be taken in some banks.
  • Old clothing that cannot be re-used can still be shredded first and used for furniture stuffing.

3) Swap/hand them down

If you have used clothes & textiles in good condition, another idea is to passing them on to a friend or a family member if they might be interested in them. Remember to be honest about any damage and wash the clothes before you pass them along. Alternatively, you can also swap a few item with the ones closest to you. This way, you are giving your clothes a new life & everyone walks away happy with some new pieces they can add to their wardrobe for free!

Online platforms such as Facebook Marketplace & Depop also allow you to swap or re-sell your clothing.

4) Transform & Upcycle

With a bit of creativity, you can transform damaged/stained clothes into new items such as face masks, tablecloths, cleaning cloths, blankets, padding for chairs, bags, t-shirts, and so much more! You can check out Pinterest or some DIY YouTube videos for inspiration.

5) Civic Amenity Sites

If you feel you cannot do any of the above, you can always bring large volumes of your old textiles to your local civic amenity site or clothing banks near you. Some of our civic amenity sites will also accept any type of clothing, footwear, textiles, including blankets at selected civic amenity sites. However, an extra charge would apply for disposing of bedding and mattresses.

How does fabric get recycled?

  • After your clothes are collected from various points, the first step is to segregate them into wearable, unusable and usable garments or products.
  • Once the sorting is done, the textiles are shredded & pulled into fibres to form yarn. Other fibres may be added to the mix depending on the end-use of the yarn. The yarn is then re-spun to be re-used, either by being knitted or woven.
  • Any fibre that cannot be made into yarns is processed into fillings, such as insulation or textile filling inside mattresses.
  • If you’re recycling polyester-based textiles, these are granulated into polyester chips. The chips are melted so that they can create new fibres for new polyester textiles.
  • In recent years the most popular method of re-using clothes is through charity shops or re-selling to second-hand shops.

 

An Effective Guide to Reducing Household Waste: Bathroom Edition

If you pay close attention to your personal care, beauty, and general hygiene routine, you might be surprised to find that often there is more waste in your bathroom than anywhere else in the house! From shampoo bottles, shower gels, soap packaging, disposable razors to bathroom cleaners and toilet rolls, our bathrooms are packed with recyclables!

Even though we all use toiletries, personal care items and bathroom cleaners on a daily basis. When it comes to reducing household waste, we find bathroom waste often tends to get overlooked. It’s important to understand how and where to dispose of your bathroom waste correctly.

Below we have outlined some excellent tips and techniques for creating a low waste, eco-friendly bathroom.

Reorganise & Declutter

The fewer products you have in your bathroom, the less waste you will produce!

  • Every now and then dedicate time to reorganise and rearrange all your cosmetics, personal care items and toiletries. So, you know what you need/use regularly and keep them easy to reach.
  • Dispose of the items that you do not need or the ones that have expired

Use Biodegradable Products

  • Instead of using plastic combs and brushes, opt for a biodegradable bamboo or wooden toothbrush/hairbrush. You can find wooden/bamboo combs and brushes that are all-natural, biodegradable and very chic!
  • Instead of buying shampoos and soaps in plastic bottles, switch to using soap bars and shampoo cars. This is way is eco-friendlier and more cost-effective compared to using liquid soap, shampoos and shower gels that come in plastic containers and non-recyclable plastic pumps.
  • You can also go a step further and look for organic, palm oil free soaps made from all-natural ingredients with compostable packaging.
  • If you are someone with a regular makeup or skincare routine, then you know it is quite common to use up cotton pads per day and throwing them away after use. Instead, we recommend using reusable cotton makeup removal pads, which can be washed along with your regular laundry. In fact, several make-up brands, reward you for recycling their old products which might also be worth looking into.

Shop Smart

  • Most beauty products & toiletries, tend to come with excessive plastic packaging including cardboard boxes, sometimes even the ones that say are eco-friendly!
  • Instead of purchasing these products, opt for products that come with sustainable, compostable, or biodegradable packaging materials, corrugated bubble wrap, biodegradable foam beads etc. With boxes or bubble wrap, it is always a good idea to re-use them where possible.

Understand what you can recycle

The good news is that almost all your bathroom waste items can in fact be recycled. Here is a list of the items that can (and should) be recycled from your bathroom:

  • Shampoo, conditioner & shower gel Bottles
  • Hand soap bottles (reuse or remove the pump dispenser as you cannot recycle it)
  • Cardboard boxes, e.g., toothpaste or soapboxes
  • Bathroom cleaner and bleach bottles
  • Toilet roll tubes
  • Deodorant lids

Note: Items such as nappies, toilet rolls, wipes, cotton wool CANNOT be recycled and would have to be disposed of in the general waste bin (black Barna bin)
Remember, all items being recycled must be clean, dry, and loose. So, make sure to rinse out any bottles and containers before popping them into your recycling bin. You can also check What Goes in My Blue Bin if you are unsure of items that you can recycle.

Visit our website If you would like more information on where to dispose of certain items or would like to order a skip, give our team a call today on 091 771619.

Barna Recycling’s Top Tips for Waste Awareness & Disposal

The best way to effectively manage waste is by using fewer resources, reducing consumption, and buying less. Here at Barna Recycling, we are always trying to find ways to educate our customers on the steps they can take to minimise household waste daily. It all starts with understanding what items go where.

Below we have outlined some smart tips to help you to reduce your bin costs and be environmentally friendly when it comes to waste management for each bin type.

General Waste Bin

Generally, this bin is for any waste items that you CANNOT put into your recycling or organic such as Ashes, Tin foil, paint, non-recyclable plastic, food wrappers.

  • ALWAYS remember NOT to include any kind of liquids in your general waste bin
  • ALWAYS ensure you separate the packaging to segregate out the food waste and recyclable materials such as envelopes, milk cartons, newspapers. This way, you are saving costs, maximising space, and making sure that you are not overloading your general waste bin.
  • Use a reusable lunchbox to store your food instead of cling film or tinfoil.
  • Should you have additional waste to dispose of, such as extra bags or cardboard boxes, please make sure you let our office know beforehand. This is so we can inform the people collecting your waste, so they can watch out for the bags at the right house. (Sometimes non-customers leave waste alongside customers bins).

Click here for the full list of items that cannot go into your black bin.

Food waste/Compost bin

Below are some of our top tips for reducing food waste at home.

  • Always Shop Smart – write a shopping list before you head to the grocery store and stick to only purchasing items on the list!
  • Plan your meals – Create a meal plan for the week and meal prep in advance to save time
  • Make sure fruit and vegetables are stored correctly. Use your freezer as much as possible

Green Waste – Grass, leaves and hedge clippings

Green waste can be disposed of in your compost bin along with your organic food waste. Home Composting is an excellent way to get the most out of your organic food as well as your green garden waste. It reduces the need to collect, process, treat and/or dispose of biodegradable materials and can be used as a potting mix for your garden, as it is rich in nutrients and is great for soil health. Check out our useful guide on composting to get started!

Recycling bin

You can check What Goes in My Blue Bin if you are unsure of items that can be recycled

  • Break down larger items such as boxes and squash them down, before putting them into the bin.
  • Food containers must be clean, dry and loose in your recycling bin.
  • Utilise reusable bags while shopping to help limit plastic waste and always look for items with recyclable, sustainable packaging options
  • DO NOT use black bags in the recycling bin otherwise, your bins may not be emptied.

Here is a list of recycling and non-recyclable packaging:

Packaging Material Recyclable Y/N Information
Cardboard Y This can be disposed of in your recycling bin, however, ensure you remove as much packaging tape as you can first.
Bubble Wrap N This is not currently recyclable and should be placed in your general waste bin.
Padded Envelopes N Not recyclable due to the presence of bubble wrap. Put this in your general waste bin.
Polystyrene Foam N This should be placed in the general waste bin.
Paper Y Make sure items are clean, dry, and placed loosely in the bin.
Envelope Y Most envelopes are ok to recycle, however, if it contains a window then this type of envelope will need to be placed in the general waste bin.
Sellotape N This should be placed in the general waste bin. Small amounts are OK to add to the recycle bin but, if possible, try to remove it

If you have large volumes of general, recyclable, or organic waste, you could always bring them to one of our seven civic amenity sites across Connacht to dispose of them at a reduced cost. Click here for more information on our civic amenity sites.

If you would like more information on where to dispose of certain items or would like to order a skip give our team a call today on 091 771619.