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Home / Environment & Waste / Recycling & Waste / Recycling - Other Materials / Schools Rags to Riches Textile Recycling

Schools Rags to Riches Textile Recycling


Rags 2 Riches is a competition run by Bournemouth Council in partnership with W&S Recycling, to encourage schools to recycle unwanted textiles and compete for £500 prize money! Recycling in schools helps to reduce the amount of rubbish we send to landfill, but can also help pupils learn about global environmental issues.   

In Bournemouth last year, we threw away over 3,000 tonnes of textiles. Across the UK, clothing binned in one year would fill Wembley stadium! Over 70% of the world’s population wear second hand clothes, so most of these textiles could have been reused or recycled.


The 2012/13 Rags 2 Riches competition saw Bournemouth schools recycle over 5 tonnes of textiles, which is the same weight as a Double Decker bus! These recycling efforts prevented the release of 70.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions in the earth’s atmosphere.   


What are the benefits for your school?

  • All participating school will receive £300 per tonne of textiles collected, meaning if 300 pupils donate one bin bag of textiles then your schools could raise £900.

  • Your school will also receive a Certificate of Participation and a Teacher’s Toolkit which includes supporting activities, posters and pupil stickers. Taking part in this competition can contribute towards your school becoming an Eco School.
  • If your school collects the most textiles(by weight) per pupil, you will win the ultimate £500 cash prize from W&S Recycling
  • The top five performing schools will receive prizes donated by AFC Bournemouth including a signed football shirt, a mascot package, tickets to match day or a stadium tour. These prizes could be used as raffle prizes in school or to reward the green team.

How do I take part?

All your school has to do is collect unwanted textiles for recycling. All types of textiles can be collected including clothes, shoes, bed linen, curtains and blankets.


Please contact us in September/October 2013 if you are interested in taking part in this year's competition by calling the recycling team on 01202 454981 or email|.


What happens next?

The competition is running from Monday 4th November 2013 until Friday 26th May 2014. During the competition, we can arrange two textile collections (one in the spring term, one in the summer term). We will contact all schools in January 2014 to arrange your first collection and April 2014 for the second collection.


Depending how much space you have for storage, either ask students to bring textiles into school on the collection day or a few days before.  We can collect on the same day or the following morning, whichever is better for the school.


What textiles can be recycled?

All types and qualities of textiles can be collected including clothing, shoes, bed linen, curtains, towels. Please make sure the collected textiles are clean and dry.


How will we know the weight of textiles collected?

Please put textiles in a bin liner or carrier bag. W&S Recycling will collect these bags and weigh the textiles collected by each school.


You will receive a cheque shortly after each collection. The final results and prizes will be presented at an awards ceremony in July 2014.


What happens to textiles after they are collected?

Textiles are collected by W&S Recycling and then processed by JMP Wilcox. The textiles are graded by quality and weight in the UK to decide on an end use. 90% are reused and usually shipped abroad to places such as Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. These markets are well established in local communities that have a genuine need for clothing. 10% that are not suitable for reuse are recycled in the UK into cleaning clothes. If you would like more information on JMP Wilcox please visit|.

Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact us on email| or call 01202 454981.


Related Information


Postal Address Customer Service Centre,
St Stephens Road, Bournemouth, Dorset
Telephone 01202 451199
Fax 01202 454690
Minicom 01202 454974
Email Enquiries
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