School uniform recycling

Waverley Council is trialling the collection and recycling/repurposing of school uniforms from local schools to prevent these items from being sent to landfill. There are limited options for recycling of this material stream when they become worn out.

The trial is available to registered NSW schools in the Waverley Council Local Government Area.

The textile recycling trial for schools is funded by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, Waste Less Recycle More initiative.

How does the trial work?

Starting now, Council is accepting applications from schools to participate in the trial. Applicants must commit to promoting the program to the school community through channels such as e-newsletters and social media or otherwise.

EOIs are requested by 30 November 2021. Up to six schools will be selected for the trial.

Register your interest by emailing environment@waverley.nsw.gov.au. Please include your name, the name of the school, your role at the school and a contact phone number. Council’s project officer will advise on the next steps.

In January 2022, participating schools will receive dedicated collection bins for end-of-life school uniforms along with education about what can go in the bin and how to promote the new service to the school community. The trial will run for the school year 2022 with the potential for extension based on success of the trial.

Participating schools will also be able to opt in for educational incursions and tours of the supplier facility. Please note, this is subject to the COVID-19 Public Health Orders in place at the time of incursions.

What happens to the uniforms after they are collected from the school?

Uniforms are collected by Worn Up, a home grown organisation transforming waste textiles into an array of useful materials right here in Greater Sydney. Worn Up will transform non-wearable uniforms into new furniture, acoustic tiles, pet beds and other products that are in development. The recovery outcomes for the uniforms are improved due to the ability to confirm the material type and sort by colour. Worn Up is one of the first start-ups to pilot with NSW Circular and UNSW Smart Centre.