Brisbane City Council Spring Clean Events
Residents in Brisbane Gave a Sheet, clearing out their robes to clean up the globe!🌏🌿
“I’m here because I give a sheet,” the elderly gentleman told us as he jumped out of his car, signalling the kick off for Give a sheet® for the Planet’s third and final event in Brisbane.
All up, 6,000kgs of textiles were donated over the 3 events, which in linen terms is the equivalent of 9,000 sheets or 35,000 pillow cases. Just in case you wondered.
Australia’s own Give a sheet® for the Planet events have taken off across the country. By the end of 2023, the BlockTexx team and local councils in Qld, NSW, VIC and SA will have joined together, mobilising rate payer communities and local businesses to reduce landfills.
When we have loved our garments and household linen to death, the options for unwanted textiles and clothing are limited. In Australia, landfill is the most common final destination. Every year around one million tonnes of textiles and clothing end up in local landfill sites.
Australia’s dirty little secret is tucked away in our linen cupboards. BlockTexx estimates that the average linen cupboard holds 15kg of bedding and household fabrics. Most of us keep extra sheets for visitors or relatives who might drop in, but they rarely see the light of day.
The reality is our cupboards are hiding old and probably discoloured bedding. We’ve either forgotten about the piles of sheets or there’s so much shoved away we don’t know what to do with it. Many of us have been waiting for the right recycling solution.
Clean out your robe for the globe
Back at Give a sheet® in Brisbane, more than 250 car loads of donations passed through the gates and are now headed down the resource recovery runway. Donations were gathered up by a small army of volunteers including Brisbane City council staff and fashion students from the Queensland University of Technology.
Most people followed the event guidelines and brought linen, towels, and napkins made from polyester/cotton blends, 100% polyester and 100% cotton.
But it can be a mixed bag. The donations that don’t meet the criteria and have resale value are re-donated to charities. Items such as wool blankets are donated to pet stores or animal shelters. In our third Brisbane event, the team filled 15 boxes to be redirected.
Give a Sheet® for the Planet volunteers and Brisbane city council team.
Laughter, effort and enthusiasm
It’s a fun event (they all are), laughter is heard throughout the day alongside plenty of questions.
Everyone has a story to tell; how they found out about the event, who they told, what they have to donate and sometimes the story or history of the linen. One member of the community told us the linen belonged to her mother – given to her on her wedding day and never used.
Most people donating had a common tale – a blend of new and old, excess purchases combined with a lifetime collection of linen.
One ratepayer turned his family sedan into a mobile linen cupboard. This storage king crammed 25 years’ worth of hoarded homewares into the backseat, the boot and his passenger seat. Nineteen bags of sheets and towels packed and stacked.
Some people returned several times during the day, hoovering up their family and neighbours’ linen cupboards on a quest for linen gifts.
Distance proved not to be a barrier with one woman driving 140km from Noosa to Brisbane. She missed the Give a sheet® Noosa event earlier in the year, so planned a visit to friends and family for the same weekend as the final Brisbane event.
Another couple loaded up full backpacks and set off on a journey that included three buses, a train and foot power to reach the Give a sheet collection point, determined to minimise their carbon emissions alongside their spring cleaning.
Schools and neighbourhoods combined their collections to deliver worthwhile volumes along with a strong sense of community.
Local Council benefits
Providing activities that support council infrastructure and deliver value back to the local community is a high priority for councils. Enthusiasm for the event showed on the day with people telling collectors they’ve been waiting for an opportunity such as Give a sheet® and wanting to know when there would be another.
Across Australia, councils have helped divert 29,000 kg of textiles going into landfill. BlockTexx estimates that offsets approximately 870,000 kg of Co2 equivalents.
We thank Brisbane City Council for their enthusiasm and commitment to co-host three events across the city.
Congratulations Brisbane ratepayers, your community enthusiasm has diverted textiles weighing the equivalent of five family sedans from local landfill.
And a special mention to the ratepayers who simply followed the directions of their partner. As one community member said, “My wife gave me the box and told me where to go!” At the very least, he Gave a sheet!