The selected clothing is sorted on a conveyor belt and sub divided again into categories like woollens (to be re-spun back into textiles) or Flock (a heavy wool product for roof insulation or carpet underlay). These goods are then pressed into 400kg bales for shipment to mills in the North of England or overseas.
Cottons unsuitable for re-wear are mostly sold to local businesses involved in the manufacturing of industrial wiping and polishing cloths.
Included in our collections each year are up to 60 tonnes of cardboard and plastic bags which we also extract for recycling. We constantly monitor our own waste stream for recyclables in an effort to divert as much away from landfill as possible.
The next grading operation is usually a separation of the light weight and heavier winter clothing for different climates around the world.
At this point also, all trousers and shirts are hand sorted on their own dedicated conveyor and table system before being machine strapped into packs of ten prior to baling.
Depending on which country and climate the clothes are most suited to, they will then be either fine graded on a table or go through another conveyor system for final sort. Specially trained conveyor belt operatives at this point will hand pick each item and place it in the correct sorting bin.
After all that, our quality checkers will still make an inspection of each tub or sack of material determining grading accuracy, quality and correct weight before the material is directed to the appropriate baling press or sack filling station and onwards for immediate loading or to be held as stock which is often the case with heavy winter clothing collected in summer.
Shoes and handbags are sorted in yet another department of the factory where they are initially paired up and then categorised into different grades. Finding all the pairs can sometimes be difficult (it really helps if charity shops or public donations ensure shoes are tied or taped together) and different processes are used to minimise wastage in this part of the operation. Shoes cannot be baled so the finished product is usually shipped in a 30kg polypropylene sack in a specific grade or in a climate dictated mix (winter or summer).
The bales/sacks are loaded onto either deep sea shipping containers for worldwide customers or freighted by road and sea to U.K. and Eastern European locations. All-Tex Recyclers have extensive experience in all aspects of shipping and freight forwarding and can help you secure the best rates for your shipments if required. We are fully conversant with all relevant government inspection agencies such as Cotecna or Bureau veritas which are now obligatory for most shipments. Full fumigation facilities are also available onsite at Belfast or Dublin ports.