How to recycle plastic hangers in Gloucestershire

Filed in Blog, Recycle by on October 18, 2015 5 Comments
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recycle hangers gloucestershireBack in 2010 I wrote a post on how to recycle hangers.

But this week I was reminded about it again when Sarah Jane contacted me.

She wrote

“I work for a clothing shop, and we have hundreds of hangers that our stockists refuse to have back. Do you have anybody in mind for recycling them as it seems awful to just put them in the normal waste bins each week.”

Sarah Jane went on to explain that 5 bin bags full per week is common in her shop and that on one day alone they might end up with 200 hangers.

The advice from Recycle Now is

“Coat hangers can be made from various materials – wood, metal or plastic. If you don’t need them they can often be donated to charity shops or given to dry cleaners and retailers who will use them again. If they are broken try contacting your local council as local recycling centres have recycling containers for wood, metal and plastic where they could be recycled. Always check with your local council in the first instance.”

I contacted Gloucestershire County Council who said absolutely nothing, because they didn’t write back!

I then contacted Cheltenham council, as they started a hard plastics recycling recently. They told me:

“Thank you for your email, yes you can put hangers in the hard plastics skip at Swindon Road.

Jane Hale
Customer Service Officer
Cheltenham Borough Council”


I also contacted 300Recycling in Cheshire; just in case people outside of the county are reading this post. Steve Young responded who said:

“We can take them in for your customer however they will have to send in this is not something we would send a courier out to collect but please let them know we do not take wooden hangers only plastic, even the ones with the metal hooks and clips we take just not wood.”

If you’re not local to Gloucestershire and you don’t want to pack up and ship to Cheshire, our community came up with some great suggestions for getting rid of them without creating landfill waste. I’ll share those on another day.

What about you – can you recycle plastic hangers locally to where you live?

Edits 19/10/15

Alison contacted me via email. She really hates to see waste so is hoping Sarah can find a good home for the hangers. Here’s what Alison suggested:

“What about local Charity shops that sell clothing?  They might be grateful for the hangers.”

She then commented

“Could Sarah Jane tie the hangers up in bundles of, eg six, and put a notice to the effect that the money from the sale of the hangers goes to a local charity. She could then put up a notice every so often to the effect that she has raised such and such an amount for such and such a charity.”

Sarah Jane has since contacted me too, saying

“We basically reached the opinion that we would have to pay for the hangers to be recycled, and that our councils did not have any means of doing anything with them for nothing!!

I sent the manager of our Ledbury store all the information I found, but I am not sure if she pursued the issue.

Bless you for emailing back, however, and when I return to work after my time off I shall chase everybody on the subject!”

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (5)

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  1. Jeanie says:

    So why doesn’t the shop in question give the hangers to the customers? It’s not downcycling, upcycling or recycling, it’s just using them. Shops here in Germany ask if you want the hanger, and whe. They break we put them in the plastic recycling bag. They are downcycled along with much other plastic. Some plastic packaging is incinerated in specially built furnaces with numerous filters to prevent dioxin and other harmful gases escaping. The heat from these furnaces is directed into district heating in the area. German efficiency again!

  2. Philippa says:

    Presumably these are the hangers that the customers say they don’t want. They cause even more of a problem when taken home as some councils do not collect plastic other than plastic bottles and others collect plastic food tubs as well as plastic bottles.

    I think the expensive bit of recycling is the sorting.

    • Jeanie says:

      Maybe some retro thinks no is needed generally. When I was growing up in Britain in the fifties, things were on wooden hangers in shops. These hangers belonged to the shops and items of clothing were delivered folded and put on the reusable hangers by the shop assistants. If everyone was prepared to pay the shop more for clothes, they could afford the wooden hangers (which today would probably have to be chained to the rails!) and we wouldn’t have the waste problem.
      Sorting costs, that’s true, but if we do not all do more, pay a bit more for a clean world we all, and coming generations will pay with their health, or worst case their lives.

  3. giftedlyn53 says:

    Whetstone (Leicestershire) recycling centre has an area for hard plastics so they could be recycled there. My son works for a major highstreet clothing retailer and they reuse theirs. They are expensive so not reusing them does not make good business sense. Hangers could easily be passed on for reuse to charity shops, hostels, student accommodation, via freegle etc.

  4. I have a shop and can use unwanted hangers they seem to be a lot weaker lately. When they do start to break I repurpose the metal hook by bending over the threaded end. Banding hangers together (rubber bands from the postman) and leaving them out for people to help themselves, posts on Freecycle/freegle/Facebook/Streetlife works wonders

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