5 April 2019 by Steve Eminton

Bristol shops find ‘fake’ textiles recycling bank

National media including the Daily Mail and the BBC today highlighted the placing of a textiles recycling bank placed outside of shops in Downend, Bristol without any authorisation.

Local shops group Cleeve Wood Road, said “the shop owners have looked into this, as it appeared a bit suspect, and it’s believed that the donation bin is a potential scam.”


The unauthorised clothes and shoe bank placed on land in Bristol (picture by Cleeve Wood Road Shops)

On its Facebook page, residents were advised that “There is a known scam of installing “fake” donation bins, with the clothes then being sold for profit under the guise of it being donated for a good cause. The information on the bin (company / charity info etc) is not linked to any actual business. The bin itself is still currently in place but it will be reported to the relevant people and signage will go on it asap to advise against using it.”

The shops group added: “In short, we do not recommend using this donation bin which has appeared in the parking area of Cleeve Wood Road Shops. Thanks ”

The placing of the bank can be seen at: Video of bank at Mail Online

‘Ongoing problem’

Alan Wheeler, secretary of the Textiles Recyclers Association, told letsrecycle.com that there is an “ongoing problem” with the placing of ‘fake’ textile banks.

“Our members have even had banks stolen and they are then placed in other locations where textiles are illicitly collected.”

He noted that the TRA have engaged with police over the problem of ‘fake banks’ and the issue is being taken seriously, especially when those involved may have links to other criminal activity.

“We also have concerns,” said Mr Wheeler, “that those involved in the activity may be in breach of regulations around modern slavery and are undercutting our members who have to run businesses with all the normal costs entailed.”


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