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Wastesaver: getting things sorted

Your donations are essential to the success of our High Street shops, allowing us to raise millions of pounds to help pay for our work to tackle poverty around the world.

The good news is that even if your donations can't be sold through our shops we can still make use of them. Wastesaver is our behind-the-scenes sorting and recycling centre, there to ensure that we maximise the value of everything we are given and minimise waste.

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The Wastesaver concept began in 1974 when Oxfam became the first national charity to develop its own facility for recycling and reusing clothing and other materials. From modest beginnings Wastesaver, now based in modern premises in Batley, West Yorkshire, handles thousands of tonnes of textiles every year.

At the Wastesaver warehouse, garments are passed along vast conveyor belts with skilled staff picking off different items for different end-uses. We're proud that virtually everything we receive gets re-used in some way and as much as possible is sold in the UK as this raises more from your donations.

Wastesaver deals with items that don't sell at the shop where they were donated, as well as large-scale corporate donations that come directly into the warehouse. Items with the greatest value will be spotted and sent to one of our specialist retail channels such as our pop-up festival shops, specialist vintage shops and boutiques or the Oxfam's Online Shop

Wastesaver sells around 15% of its clothing to Frip Ethique, a social enterprise in Senegal, with profits used to fund livelihoods programmes in Senegal and elsewhere in West Africa. Other clothing is exported through our trade partners across Europe and Asia, in line with our ethical supply policy. 

12,000

tonnes of material brought into Wastesaver every year

0%

goes to landfill

1200

clothing banks emptied by Wastesaver's transport division

Clothing that has reached the end of its wearable life will be sold on to be reused as industrial cleaning cloth, or broken down so the fibres can be used, for example as mattress filling or carpet underlay. A very small proportion of items cannot be reused or recycled so they are sent to a green energy plant to be incinerated to produce energy.

Oxfam Wastesaver is proud to have been sorting stock and maximising the use and value of everything that is given to us for 40 years.

Find your local Oxfam shop 

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650

Oxfam shops supported by Wastesaver

85

staff employed by Wastesaver

90,000

square feet of warehousing at Wastesaver