• Emily Hyde

How DCC recycle waste garments

Many organisations are turning their efforts towards becoming more environmentally friendly. Here at DCC, we take security and sustainability seriously which is why we work with a company called Race Recycling to prevent our waste from going to landfill.

As you will all know, workwear gets to a point where it’s no longer serving the correct purpose and branded items can become outdated. However, rather than just disposing of the goods, and sending them to landfill, we work with Race Recycling to recycle the garments in a safe, secure and sustainable way. All PPE, workwear and corporate clothing can be recycled if you are committed to doing so.

Race Recycling

Race Recycling Ltd is the largest non-paper secure destruction company in the UK. They have contracts with many public & private sector organisations, including UK Police forces and Fire & Rescue services, plus major private sector companies such as Asda, Tesco, Royal Mail, Network Rail, B&Q and more. The secure destruction and recycling service they provide protects intellectual property, improves security and has environmental and sustainability benefits too. Race Recycling process hundreds of tons of defective/returned product, corporate branded clothing, apparel and PPE per month.

The goal is to prevent waste from going to landfill by recycling and finding an end-use for the fibres. Currently, there is no closed circle process of using these fibres again in clothing, therefore other uses are found.

On receipt the waste is sorted into 4 different grades then shredded to a particle size of 15mm (maximum), ensuring all logos, names or branding is destroyed.


1) SRF (Solid Recovered Fuel)

This is a lower grade of waste including items like trouser belts, footwear, baseball caps, heavily soiled items etc. All waste is shredded and then shipped to SRF partners, Twence in Holland or Lancashire Recovered Fuels in the UK where it is compressed into fuel pellets and burned in the energy sector (energy from waste).

2) WPF (Waste Processed Fibre)

This is a higher grade of waste which includes items like trousers, polo shirts, formal shirts, jackets, blazers, pullovers etc. Again, it's shredded to 15mm and the fibre is then used in several applications such a needled punch, bonded and woven recycled textile materials. End-uses include industrial insulation, sewer linings, sound insulation, packaging, relief blankets, mattress insulator pads and more. Edward Clay & Son are one of the textile partners who make use of these fibres. Other end-uses include Regarm Grasscrete which is a substrate used in green roof applications.

3) Fleece Jackets & Polyester, PU Backed and PTFE Clothing

The process for these items is the same as above but due to the Polyester fibre, they have to be processed separately. This is because the WPF process creates a great deal of heat and polyester melts rather than pulls into fibres like polyester/cotton or polyester/wool. They are used in the thermal bonding process for some WPF applications and other applications where a higher manmade fibre content is required.

4) Other

This normally includes items like plastic safety helmets, coat hangers, batteries, packaging etc. All of which are separated and recycled accordingly.


How DCC use Race Recycling

From time to time we have excess stock (from clients rebranding or changing requirements), or samples which cannot be reused, and the odd misprinted item. It’s at this point that we use Race Recycling’s service.

We have a non-paper recycling bin where the excess garments are stored. When the bin is full, we contact Race Recycling and they will arrange a collection. Once collected the waste is weighed then shredded. We then receive weight tickets and a Certificate of Destruction & Recycling.

How you can use Race Recycling

To keep costs and carbon footprint low we suggest that you work directly with Race Recycling. The service does however come with a fee. This depends on the amount of waste you collect, we would advise that you to speak with Race Recycling regarding the costs.

All you will need to do is contact Race Recycling to set up your account. You will then start to collect your non-paper waste in your own bin or a bin that can be supplied from Race Recycling. These bins do come at a cost, however, they are labelled with instructions and provide a dedicated non-paper recycling bin. Once full, you will need to arrange collection of delivery of the waste. Race Recycling operates its own nationwide network for collections, so we advise to use this service to remain compliant with the transportation of waste.

After collection and shredding Race Recycling will send you weight tickets and a Certificate of Destruction & Recycling.

It’s imperative to remember that waste garments should be kept dry and free from as much secondary contamination as possible.

Other services Race Recycling offer:

IT Data Destruction

Office Clearance

Secure safe shredding and destruction of sensitive and confidential material

Other than recycling with Race Recycle DCC have, in the past, donated excess non-branded stock to various charities. It has then been distributed to the less fortunate, sold in charity shops or been weighed into raised funds.

Contact Race Recycling

Office: 01457 899126

(Monday to Thursday 0730-1800 closed Friday)

Mobile: 07855 615329

e-Mail: vaughnrees@racerecycling.com