Transdev leads the way recycling old uniforms in Australian first


Transdev’s Ethan Reid and Chloe Scully with some of Transdev’s old uniforms that will be recycled in Brisbane.

Transdev is going fashion forward to repurpose old uniforms, potentially turning them back into clothing, sunglasses or playgrounds. 

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    Transdev, which provides uniforms to several thousand of its people across Australia, has started a trial at its Sydney Light Rail and Sydney and Queensland bus operations with clean technology company BlockTexx.

    BlockTexx operates Australia’s only commercial-scale textile recovery facility, which uses a patent pending chemical process to break down polyester-cotton blended fabrics. 

    The recovered cellulose can then be used to make textiles, paints, hydromulch, concrete and more. The recovered polyester is used to make textiles and in injection moulding for playground equipment and even coat hangers.

    Transdev CEO Brian Brennan said the new partnership was another practical way Transdev was acting on sustainability, innovation and social enterprise. 

    “Recycling old uniforms, which would otherwise be dumped, is much more sustainable. And using a more innovative process to recover higher-grade fibres with the help of a social enterprise with supported workers, just makes sense,” Mr Brennan said. 

    “We’ve already recycled 400kg from our Sydney tram team and hope to get even more from our Sydney and Brisbane bus teams. 

    “Transdev is always looking for smarter ways to be more sustainable, whether it’s decarbonising our transport fleets, working with compliant and ethical suppliers or recycling our uniforms.”

    While the initial partnership is focused on three Transdev sites, Transdev also operates Sydney Harbour ferries, buses in Perth, trains and buses in Wellington, and buses in Auckland. The intention is to grow the partnership. 

    Transdev is seeking to green its transport fleet across Australia and New Zealand in partnership with its government clients, using innovative technology to guide that growth. 

    It’s the pursuit of technology-driven ideals that sits well with Adrian Jones, co-founder of BlockTexx.

    “We’re proud to work with forward-thinking organisations such as Transdev,” Mr Jones said. 

    “Our world-first technology not only provides a sustainable alternative to sending unwanted uniforms to landfill, it also remanufactures them into valuable raw materials for onshore and offshore product manufacture. 

    “BlockTexx closes the loop of unwanted clothing and textiles by diverting these materials from landfill. Through our advanced remanufacturing processes textiles are given a second life.

    “We’ve also partnered with social impact organisation HELP Enterprises. Their skilled workforce completed the pre-processing by removing labels, buttons and zippers from the uniforms.” 

    This uniform trial uses BlockTexx’s S.O.F.T. (separation of fibre technology) patent pending process in operation at BlockTexx’s commercial-scale textile-recovery facility, built at Loganholme in Queensland in late 2022.

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