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Textile waste in the Twente Region

A consultative research on actions the municipalities in the Twente region could undertake to support high quality recycling in the textile waste market.

Textile waste in the Twente Region

A consultative research on actions the municipalities in the Twente region could undertake to support high quality recycling in the textile waste market.

Samenvatting

This final thesis was commissioned by the Knowledge Centre of Living Environment, in order to research the textile waste market in Twente.  The extern client of this research is the ‘steering group zero waste Twente’, a steering group of the Twente region that aims to stimulate circular economy through pursuing a zero waste region in 2030. The region wants to set up shared policies in order to reach this goal.
 One of the waste streams that needs attention is municipal textile. The environmental impact of this waste stream is severe and the waste stream is well recyclable. However, only 38 % of the textiles are collected separately. The rest is all ending up in incinerators. Furthermore, a big share of the textiles that are collected separately is recycled in a low quality way, also called down cycling.
Therefore, this particular research is focused on the main bottlenecks in the textile waste market in Twente that prevents more textiles from being recycled. In order to overcome those bottlenecks, solutions are set up. This approach has led to the following problem description:
 “In which way could the municipalities in the Twente region support the textile waste market in Twente to ensure more textiles will be recycled for the highest quality possible?”
 With the help of literature research and interviews with experts, a couple of bottlenecks in the textile waste market were identified: 1. a lack of communication to citizens; 2. a lack of scalable innovative recycling methods and 3. a lack of municipal involvement.  
 In the 14 municipalities in the Twente region, three main textile collection organisations that are collecting through containers are active: the traditional charitable organisations Reshare (Salvation Army) and Sympany, and the Twente textile circle. The Twente textile circle is a new  textile collecting collaboration between thrift stores het Goed and de Beurs, commercial waste collector Twente milieu and textile innovation centre Texperium.
In this research, the business models of these three organisations are compared. As a result, it has become clear in what way these organisations are dealing with the main bottlenecks and in which extend they are trying to solve them.
 This comparison shows that the Twente textile circle is mainly focusing on the bottlenecks regarding communication and innovation, because their expenses on these themes are much higher. The charitable organisations are giving less money to solving these bottlenecks and are focusing on charity projects.
 The identification of the bottlenecks and the comparison between the collecting organisations has led to two conclusions:
 Conclusion 1- Make textile waste a high priority
Despite the high environmental impacts and the recycling possibilities of textiles, municipalities are seeing the textile waste stream as relatively unimportant. However, it is clear that this should change as there are a lot of opportunities that could be seized. The municipalities in the Twente region could support the textile waste market by taking it seriously and acting accordingly.  
 Conclusion 2- Expand the Twente textile circle
Based on the focus and the main values the Twente textile circle is pursuing - communication and innovation - it is likely that this organisation could help the Twente region with their main goal: a zero waste Twente in 2030. Furthermore, the charitable organisations are considered to be incapable on collecting more textiles at this moment, as this will harm their business model.

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OrganisatieSaxion
OpleidingMilieukunde
Datum2015-06-01
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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