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Recycling and exchanging clothes in Portugal: the ToBeGreen Albergaria-a-Velha store

Part of the BeGreen community, Albergaria-a-Velha is the first municipality in the district of Aveiro to join the clothing recycling program.

Situated in the district of Aveiro, the town of Albergaria-a-Velha adopted an innovative solution to deal with the disposal of personal protective masks (largely used during the recent Covid-19 pandemic) and clothes.

albergaria a velha

Destinated primary to educate younger generations on the importance of circular economy, the project started in primary and secondary schools through Zoom sessions to all the classes. Specific containers for masks and textiles were placed in the Elementary School, the High School, the Jobra Music Conservatory, the Town Hall Building, the Municipal Warehouses, the Brotherhood of Mercy of Albergaria-a-Velha, and the ASIV - Social Association for the Elderly with Life. 

Every week the masks are collected and processed by ToBeGreen in its waste treatment and valorisation centres. The final product resulting from this process will serve as raw material for new products, in a circular economy logic.

As for the textile exchange and recycling program, there are three levels of action:

  • the exchange of clothing by citizens using the ToBeGreen application, whereby for each item delivered for sharing, users receive points to purchase second-hand items in the application:
  • the cataloguing of clothing deposited in the IPSS, which allows the Division of Education and Social Action of the City Council to provide a more efficient service to those who need this type of support;
  • the recycling of textiles at the end of their life, as well as all their residues, allowing the creation of textile threads or acoustic insulation boards, among other products.

Albergaria-a-Velha is a member of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, a global network of more than 2500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development.