Waste – Focus Point 8

Focus 8 : Recycling at School

What do we recycle at Hazlehead?

Our Clothing Bank Proposal

We have been part of the rag bag scheme for many years and raised lots of funds for the school.  Shona Grimmer came to visit the Eco Working Group to tell us how we can have a permanent clothing bank installed in the school grounds which would allow people to drop off clothing at their leisure.  We really liked this idea so we wrote an email to Robertsons with a proposal.

Dear Mr Innes,


We are pupils from the ECO Working Group at Hazlehead Primary and we are writing to ask you to consider allowing us to install a Rag Bag outdoor clothing bank in the school grounds to help us raise funds for the school and reduce needless waste.


Rag Bag is part of Nathans Wastesavers, a national textile recycling company which has been in operation since 1907. They collect unwanted textiles and sort and grade them to prevent them from going into landfill. The majority of items reused go to Africa or sometimes Eastern Europe, as good quality second hand clothing. Recycled items are cut into industrial wiping clothes and are used in the UK or made into other textiles, underlay etc. The unusable items are turned into energy. Even the plastic bags used in the collection process then go for recycling. Hazlehead Primary has been involved with Rag Bag for over 10 years now and has raised several thousand pounds over the years.


Having the clothing bank would allow many people in the community to deposit old/used clothes to the bank. Once the bank is full we would then contact Rag Bag and they would come to empty and weigh the amount of clothes in the bank. The school would receive funds based on the amount of clothes deposited. This would help the school to raise money for resources and the clothes that we gather would be provided to people who need it most.


It is estimated that about 350,000 tons/£140,000,000 of used, but still wearable clothes, go to landfill each year. This is the same as the weight of over 70,000 adult sized African adults!! As an ECO group we are very upset this is happening and believe a clothing bank within our school grounds is in some small way going to help to reduce this.


It is said that our school would receive £400 per ton and there is no charge for installing or maintaining the bank. We as a group think this could be of great benefit to our school and the environment.


The sizes of the bank are as follows:

Height 1.5m, Width 1.15m, Depth 0.9m or Height 1.9m, Width 1.15m, Depth 0.9m


We have already identified a suitable site just near the entrance of the school. This would ensure easy access for cars dropping off.


Thank you for taking the time to read our email and we hope you consider our proposal because as a company you would also be helping the environment by allowing us to have a clothing bank.


Kind regards,


Eco Working Group.



From: Neil Innes <n.innes@robertson.co.uk>
Sent: 28 May 2019 12:28
To: Lynne Stuart <LStuart@aberdeencity.gov.uk>
Subject: RE: FAO Mr. Neil Innes


Good Afternoon Lynne,

I’ve consulted with all contract parties and all are happy with your proposal so no issues our end with this going ahead.  Should you require any further information please let me know.


Kind Regards


Neil Innes
Contract Manager
Robertson Facilities Management Ltd
Whitemyres Industrial Estate
Whitemyres Avenue
AB16 6NB

Mobile: 07970 476502
Office: 01224 788300
Fax: 01224 695398


Our Clothing Bank Is Now Open

Today we officially opened our Rag Bag Clothing Bank which is now situated at the front of the school beside the main door. Please use the clothing bank to deposit any old clothing, footwear that you no longer need.  By doing this, you will help the school raise money, your clothes will be reused/recycled for good causes and you will be promoting an Eco Aware responsible attitude which is one of our school values.


“We are delighted to be working with Hazlehead Primary School in Aberdeen who joined our Rag Bag scheme some years ago. There is a very active Eco Group and the school overall has saved several tonnes of textiles from going to landfill. It has also earned thousands of pounds in RagBag fundraising over the years. In fact they are so productive in textile recycling that they now have one of our exterior clothing recycling banks on site positioned in the school grounds.”  Shona Grimmer, Promotions Officer, Nathans Wastesavers.


Further Information about Rag Bag

As you may be aware, Rag Bag is a free school fundraising scheme reusing and recycling unwanted textiles preventing them from ending up in landfill. Since 2006, they have helped schools raise over £10 million. They have over 3000 schools and community groups participating in Scotland!


Rag Bag is part of Nathans Wastesavers a national textile recycling company in operation since 1907. Nathans collect unwanted textiles from Schools, Charity Shops, and Community groups and also service Textile Banks throughout the UK. Their factory in Denny, Stirlingshire employ over 300 people and sort and grade over 500 tonnes of textiles every week preventing them from going into landfill!


Textiles are sorted and graded into over 100 categories with 84.7% of items being reused, 12.3% of items being recycled and 3% of items being unusable. The majority of items reused go to Africa as good quality second hand clothing, recycled items are cut into industrial wiping clothes and are used in the UK. The unusable items are turned into energy.


You can find out more about Rag Bag on their website www.rag-bag.co.uk

Our Rag Bag Totals

So far, we have donated 2457kg of clothes which has earned the school £982.80.  This is an increase in 352kg (£140.80) from May 2017 – April 2019 which is fantastic and shows us that the permanently installed clothing bank is making a difference as families can drop off unwanted clothing at a time that is convenient to them.


What Can We Recycle At School?



We spoke to pupils and staff to find out about the different things we recycle in our school.  We created a jamboard of their answers.  Here are the results below.  From this, we can see that we actually recycle quite a lot in our school!

We need to continue to do this as well as look at other ways we can recycle to reduce the amount of waste we have.


We have been learning about TerraCycle UK.  They are an innovative recycling company who have become global leaders in recycling the hard-to-recycle waste.


They offer a range of free recycling programmes for anyone to participate in.  This is supported by brands, manufacturers and retailers around the world.  When you are part of the programme, you collect specific things.  When you have collected a lot, you then post it to TerraCycle.  They then give you money for what you have collected.  For businesses and companies, they can donate the money to a charity or a school.  Schools can keep the money or donate it to a charity.


We looked at the different programmes to see which ones would be the best to get involved with.  We chose the following 2 programmes.

Unfortunately, these programmes are very popular and so we were not able to be used as a drop off location.  However, through looking at the map of our area, we noticed that Milltimber Primary is a drop off location for the crisp packet scheme while the James Hutton Institute is a drop off location for the writing instruments scheme.  We contacted both places and asked if they were willing to work with us on their programmes so that we could both benefit from the rewards.  They said yes!


We will let you know when this is started so you can start collecting!!  For more information, please see their website.  https://www.terracycle.com/en-GB/