A subject touched other times as well, which offers a lot to discuss on, the collecting of the clothes at the source and then reusing / recycling them seems to have become a reality in Tirana. Citizens have completed the first process, that of reuse, sometimes for economic reasons and other times as a tradition of donating clothes to relatives. As for their further treatment, such as recycling, it is known by specialists or environmental lovers.

Collecting clothes or other items, where the basic material was the cloth has been a difficult process and almost impossible to accomplish for years. There have been small initiatives that, after collecting used clothes but not only, shredded these cloth materials in the strips and then sent them to the ordering destination. This initiative just as it started also ended, as it lacked raw materials and was a costly process.

Today, in 2017, an Albanian firm with Italian partnerships collects used clothing and other cloth materials at the source. The collected material will have two functions; for donation to mostly orphan children and what will remain after the preliminary processes such as selection, disinfection and packaging, will then go to Italy where the Italian partner of the Albanian firm “Galutex” will send it to the destination for recycling. Also, the basic material obtained from the process of collecting (different garments) after negotiating or bringing under contract giants in car production (Fiat, Alfa Romeo or Ferrari) will be ripped into small pieces, and then delivered to these car manufacturing companies, which will use them during their daily work.

The establishment of 31 containers for the collection of used clothes is an individual project, made reality with the support of the Municipality of Tirana as well but mostly Mrs. Galutex, who is also the administrator of the newly-established project, shows that this initiative has started as a pilot project, mainly focused on Tirana’s central area, whereby if the project goes according to expectations, it will extend to areas beyond the center or in the peripheral areas of Tirana.

According to the Statistics Institute in 2017, the percentage of textiles takes up 2.9% – 3% of all composting urban waste mass. Such initiatives will help reduce waste mass and significantly reduce the cost of transporting these waste to landfills not only for Tirana but also in other cities of Albania. Galutex’s manager continues to show us passionately that she wants to promote her new project further by carrying out awareness-raising campaigns in schools, institutions or even collaborations with other private businesses. Such private or institutional initiatives help improve the quality of the environment we live in, taking the necessary measures for its protection and sustainable development. Would such an initiative be effective for paper or plastics as well, where their collection at the source would facilitate recyclers’ work, and would reduce the size of overflowing containers?

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