Birmingham’s Olympic-inspired bra recycling charity challenge has recorded a new personal best after 245kg of bras were collected in June.
The figure – the most collected in a single month since the scheme launched in August 2010 – was reached thanks to the city council’s recent expansion of the project to its 37 leisure centres across Birmingham.
By the time the Olympics begin next summer it is hoped that enough bras will have been recycled to cover the 26 miles and 385 yards length of the marathon.
The UK’s average bra size is 36 inches (one yard). There are 1,760 yards in a mile, and the Olympic-themed challenge means 46,145 bras will need to be donated to achieve the goal.
So far, 868.25kg of the garments have been collected – equivalent to 17,365 bras. If laid end-to-end, they would cover a distance of 9.86 miles, or the same distance as travelling from the Council House in Victoria Square to Birmingham Airport.
The bras are recycled to raise money for Breast Friends, a Sutton Coldfield-based charity that supports women with breast cancer. The collection is sold by weight and BCR Global Textiles, a local recycling firm, then re-sells the garments to traders in developing countries, giving women items they may otherwise not have access to.
For every kg of bras collected, Breast Friends gets £1 – meaning they have received £868.25 thanks to the responsible recycling of Birmingham’s citizens.
Cllr Paul Tilsley, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, whose portfolio covers sustainability, said: “Now we’ve increased the number of locations at which bras can be recycled we are putting in record-breaking performances for our collection rates.
“This offers a real boost for society on many fronts – for the environment locally, as items are taken out of the waste stream, for a local charity that does excellent work on breast cancer and for needy people in the developing world.
“We’ve still got some way to go, but I would urge anyone with unwanted bras to play a part and help us cross the finishing line for our challenge as we enter the final lap ahead of the Olympics.”
Notes to editors
1. The initial list of locations for the bra recycling banks was as follows:
Sainsbury’s, Castle Vale Retail Park, Chester Road, Castle Vale, Birmingham, B35 6HB
Sainsbury’s, 1059-1061 Alcester Road South, Maypole, Birmingham, B14 5TN
Sainsbury’s, Frankley Beeches Road, Northfield, Birmingham, B31 5AA
Tesco, Ridgeacre Road, Quinton, Birmingham, B32 1EG
Cocks Moors Woods Leisure Centre, Alcester Road South, Kings Heath, B14 6ER
Tesco, Coleshill Road, Hodge Hill, Birmingham, B36 8DT
Sainsbury’s, 1 Chapel Lane, Selly Oak, Birmingham, B29 6SJ
Lidl, 33 Kings Road, Sutton Coldfield, B73 5AB
Silver Street Pay & Display car park, Kings Heath, Birmingham, B14 7QU
Four Oaks railway station car park, Off Lichfield Road, (A5127), Four Oaks, Birmingham, B74 2TD
2. Birmingham’s leisure centres are now collecting bras, and can be found at the following locations:
Alexander Stadium, Walsall Road, B42 2LR
Arthur Terry Sports Centre, Kittoe Road, B74 4RZ
Bartley Green Community Leisure Centre, Adams Hill, B32 3QJ
Beeches Pool & Fitness Centre, Beeches Road, B42 2HQ
Billesley Indoor Tennis Centre, Wheelers Lane, B13 0ST
Castle Pool, Farnborough Road, B35 7EJ
Castle Vale Community Leisure Centre, Farnborough Road, B35 7NL
Chamberlain Health & Fitness, 1 Belgrave Middleway, B12 9FT
Cockshutt Hill Sports & Fitness, Cockshutt Hill, B26 2HX
Colmers Community Leisure Centre, Bristol Road South, B45 9NY
Court Road Health & Fitness, 14 Court Road, B11 4LX
Erdington Pool, Mason Road, B24 9EJ
Four Dwellings Community Leisure Centre, Dwellings Lane, B32 1RJ
Fox Hollies Leisure Centre, Shirley Road, B27 7NS
Frankley Community Leisure Centre, New Road, B45 0EU
Great Barr Leisure Centre, Aldridge Road, B44 8NU
Birmingham Gymnastic & Martial Arts Centre, Walsall Road, B42 2LR
Handsworth Leisure Centre, Holly Road, B20 2BY
Kings Norton Community Leisure Centre, Shannon Road, B38 9DE
Kingsbury Community Leisure Centre, Kingsbury Road, B24 8RE
Kingstanding Leisure Centre, Dulwich Road, B44 0EW
Laurel Road Community Sports Centre, Laurel Road, B21 9PB
Linden Road Pool, Linden Road, B30 1JR
Moseley School Health & Fitness Centre, Springfield Road, B13 4LR
Nechells Community Sports Centre, Rupert Street, B7 5DT
Newtown Pool & Fitness Centre, Newtown Row, B19 2SW
Northfield Pool & Fitness Centre, Bristol Road South, B31 2PD
Perry Beeches Pool & Fitness Centre, Perry Beeches Road, B42 2PY
Saltley Community Leisure Centre, 120 Broadway Avenue, B9 5YD
Shard End Community Centre & Sports Hall, 170 Packington Avenue, B34 7RD
Shenley Court Community Leisure Centre, Shenley Lane, B29 4HE
Small Heath Leisure Centre, Muntz Street, B10 9RX
Stockland Green Community Leisure Centre, Slade Road, B23 7JH
Summerfield Community Leisure Centre, Winson Green Road, B18 4EJ
Tiverton Pool & Fitness Centre, Tiverton Road, B29 46BU
Turves Green Community Leisure Centre, Turves Green Road, B31 4BP
Wyndley Leisure Centre, Clifton Road, B73 6EB
For more information contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621