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Stop throwing waste in charity donation bins, campaign urges
Three charities that collect and recycle used clothes have teamed up for a campaign to stop people throwing everyday waste in their donation bins.
Oxfam, Les Petits Riens and Terre estimate their annual clean-up cost at €700,000 as donated clothes and shoes are soiled by everything from used nappies to wine bottles.
Walloon environment minister Carlo Di Antonio said waste accounted for about 15% of the contents of the average charity bin.
An awareness campaign has begun in four communes with a view to extending it throughout Brussels and Wallonia. "Crime scene" signs and a security cordon have been attached to 43 donation bins, with a warning of the potential €350 fines for fly-tipping.
Wallonia and Brussels have 4,100 textile recycling bins, collecting 27,500 tonnes for charity each year. About 5% of the clothes collected are sold second-hand in Belgium and 55% are sent overseas.
Around 25% of the material is recycled and the rest is incinerated, with the generated heat used to produce electricity.