School uniform recycling

Waverley Council is trialing 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 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?

In early 2022, participating schools received dedicated collection bins to recycle 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.

Schools completed the second round of collections in June collectively diverting an accumulated 1160.60kgs of textiles that were destined for landfill! Keep up the good work everyone!

The trial will be evaluated at its completion in December and we will determine if the program will continue next year. Stay tuned for more news if you are interested in joining.

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.