Cyprus Mail

Clothes recycling generates cash for needy

Purple Recycling bins are found around the island

By Maria Gregoriou

DURING its three years of operation, the non-profit environmental organisation Anakyklos Perivallontiki has collected 3,010 tonnes of clothes for recycling and made itself an example of entrepreneurship.

Textile recycling is the organisation’s main programme and currently runs in all 30 municipalities and 106 communities of the island, with 292 collection banks – the familiar purple bins – set-up.

Collected clothes are available at the organisation’s shops in Nicosia and Limassol, while textiles are exported for reuse or recycling, being turned into wiping clothes, insulation and other materials.

“It has been calculated that during the third year 1,025 tonnes have been exported for recycling, bringing in a total revenue of €498,179,” said director of Anakyklos Perivallontiki Doros Michael. This compares to 995 tonnes in the second year, with a revenue of €450,239.

The organisation’s total revenue during its third year was €593,971, compared to €507,817 in the second year.

The amount of items collected in the second year increased by 23 per cent compared to the first, while the third year saw an increase of six per cent in collections.

Michael put this slowing increase down to the economic situation. “People do not buy new clothes as often now and they keep their old clothes for longer,” he said.

This year has also seen the organization start to work with community markets, churches and other organisations to help collect clothes. As a result, revenues amounting to €16,015 were collected, half of which is ploughed back into organisations that provide the needy with essential goods.

Partnerships are also being formed with schools and institutions for the disabled or people with disabilities. At the moment 23 schools and 29 institutions have shown interest in this project.

“Money collected will be used to buy breakfasts for needy students or for the enhancement of the social work carried out in these institutions,” Michael said.

Environment Commissioner Ioanna Panayiotou congratulated the organisation’s efforts to contribute to society and protect the environment.

“This is a first time initiative for Cyprus and should be seen as a great example of entrepreneurship. Not only has it created green jobs for Cypriot people, but it has proven that this kind of business thinking does work.

“Others should follow in these footsteps for the general good of our country and in aid of kick starting the economy,” Panagiotou said.

Unwanted clothes, shoes, household textiles, handbags or belts can be put in the purple collection banks.

For large contributions, Anakyklos Perivallontiki will collect. For more information call 99 722121, email or visit the website

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