Quantity and quality of clothing and household textiles in the Danish household waste

Nynne Nørup*, Kaj Pihl, Anders Damgaard, Charlotte Scheutz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Despite the fact that studies have indicated that a large proportion of textiles is disposed in the waste, only few studies have looked at the content of textiles in waste, and even less have considered the quality of these textiles. However, it is crucial to know both quantity and quality, in order to assess the potential for improved reuse and recycling. Following a new method for assessing the quantity and quality of textile waste, this study assessed residual household waste from 17 areas and small combustible waste from six recycling stations throughout Denmark. The average contents of Clothing and Household textiles in residual household waste were 1.4 ± 0.5% and 0.6 ± 0.3%, respectively, whereas the content was 4.5 ± 2.1% for Clothing and 2.6 ± 1.2% for Household textiles in the small combustibles. On an annual basis each resident discards to 2.4 ± 0.9 kg of Clothing and 1.1 ± 0.5 kg/resident/year of Household textiles with the residual household waste. The quality assessments showed, that an average of 65 ± 8.0% and 65 ± 19.3% of the Clothing and Household textiles were reusable in the residual household waste, while in small combustibles it were an average of 69 ± 5.8% and 66 ± 9.6% of the Clothing and Household textiles. In addition, an average of 12 ± 5.3% and 15 ± 10.5% of the Clothing and Household textiles in residual waste, and an average of 14 ± 3.9% and 16 ± 8.7% of the Clothing and Household textiles in small combustibles, could be recycled. This emphasizes that there is good potential for improving textile waste management, as most of the identified Clothing and Household textiles were misplaced and little were actually waste.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWaste Management
Volume87
Pages (from-to)454-463
ISSN0956-053X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Textile waste sorting
  • Residual waste
  • Small combustibles
  • Quality assessment
  • Reuse
  • Recycle

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