The textiles recycling sector has added its voice to industry concerns over the difficulty in getting insurance due to the high number of fires at processing facilities, as MRW reported last year.
Over the course of 2012, MRW’s research found that there were 59 fires at recycling centres, more than one a week, but insurers said that the number was conservative. Larger stock piles of material, new processing methods and inadequate understanding and management or risks were blamed for the increases in fires.
In April this year, international firm Catlin Insurance Company pulled out of the recycling sector in April, sparking ‘significant’ increases on premiums for companies in the sector.
Alan Wheeler, director of the Textile Recycling Association, led the first textile summit to be held at the Bureau of International Recycling’s six-monthly gatherings.
He told the event in Miami: “Our members are finding it increasingly difficult to find anyone who will insure them and even if they do the premiums are rocketing up. This is putting ever increasing pressure on the economic margins.”
Wheeler added that the difficulties relating to building and contents insurance were a concern for the wider recycling industry.
Away from insurance problems, Wheeler said that the used clothing and textile market in the UK was “still experiencing major economic problems” and had seen business closures, job cuts and a reduction in collection.
He was speaking at the first ever International Textile Recycling Summit, which attracted an audience of more than 100 people.
- Wheeler’s latest focus on the textile market is in the next issue of MRW