24 Aug '12, 3pm
A new machine that automatically sorts unwanted clothing by fiber and color could change the face of textile-recycling
Although the sorting machine costs between €200,000 and €500,000 ($250,160 and $62,540), Textiles 4 Textiles says it will pay for itself quickly. Because fabrics are most easily recycled into fabrics of the same type, the value of textile waste increases when the composition of the sorted fraction is known. (To wit, the purer the lot is, the more it’s worth.) Fibers derived from the pulped and shredded garments are re-spun into new apparel or household textiles such as curtains and carpets. Shorter fibers can be used for building insulation and automobiles.