The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWaRB) has held “constructive” talks with charity bosses over controversial plans to tender for a pan-London textile recycling bank contract.
LWaRB and the Charity Retail Association (CRA) failed to reach a final agreement over the sensitive issue but both sides said progress had been made.
A LWaRB spokeswoman told MRW it was “a positive meeting” and that the groups were “looking at potential opportunities to work together to optimise textiles capture and re-use for London”.
CRA senior research and policy analyst Cristina Osoro Cangas said: “At this stage, we can only say we had a constructive meeting.”
LWaRB member Clyde Loakes told last week’s LWaRB board meeting the plans had also sparked heated debate among council leaders.
“Don’t underestimate the issue. It was a very heated debate, shall we say, and polarised views across parties,” Loakes said.
Voluntary groups have accused LWaRB and London Councils of putting profits before people with their plans to hire out clothing recycling banks to private companies.
The plans, first raised in February but yet to be finalised, would see a London-wide contract for the sale of textiles collected from bring-banks on local authority owned sites.
A London Councils paper said boroughs could benefit from “increased recyclate income and procurement savings”.
London Councils pledged to structure the contract to avoid damaging voluntary groups, but charities, which rely on banks to stock their clothing outlets, said they would lose out.
The CRA said the move would cut charities’ income by £3.2m and that 400 jobs and nearly 6,000 volunteering roles could be lost.