Train operator recycles 10,000kg of old uniforms

A train operator has announced it has recycled over 10,000kg worth of old uniforms in the past year.

Northern Railways in 2023 signed a partnership deal with waste management firm, Avena, to recycle its “end of life” uniforms. Over the past year the uniforms have been collected from 25 depots and train crew centres. The uniforms are then taken away for shredding and turned into new products.

According to the rail firm, the arrangement has saved it over 4,000kg of carbon emissions, which is said to be the equivalent of 11,159 miles driven by an average petrol car.

Northern has said its uniforms must be disposed of safely for security reasons, in order to avoid the possibility of people using the old uniforms to impersonate rail workers, as many items feature the Northern logo. 


Elliott Garner, a spokesperson for Avena, said: “We are delighted to have strengthened and expanded on our relationship with Northern over the past 12 months. The recent release of our joint video project underscores Northern’s commitment to advancing sustainability goals, directly supported by the SecureBrand Uniform Recycling solution.

“Avena takes pride in securely processing all Northern uniform in the most effective way possible, guaranteeing the processing of all items collected resulting in complete avoidance from landfill.

“The implementation of SecureBrand across 25 Northern sites ensures branded uniform is captured, heavily reducing the risk of uniform breaches and impersonation attempts. We look forward to continuing securing the future of Northern for years to come.”


Mike Roe, safety and environment director at Northern, said: “Uniforms are something we have in abundance and through natural wear and tear and turnover of staff, we regularly have to order-in fresh supplies.

“Knowing that we’ve sent over 10 tonnes of material for recycling through this initiative – which would otherwise have been incinerated or sent to landfill – is something Northern can be proud of.”

Secure Data Destruction Solutions – Avena (avenagroup.co.uk)


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