ROGUE clothing collections are a “major problem” in Rugby, according to officials.
A mysterious white van has been seen picking up textiles left out for the borough council to collect - contributing to the failure of a new recycling scheme.
The council had hoped its collection of clothes from boxes placed outside homes would encourage recycling - but Warwickshire Waste Reduction Partnership believes the garments have fallen into the wrong hands.
Commenting on the council’s scheme, the partnership’s latest report states: “Results were disappointing in all cases.
“This is probably due to the fact that there are many such collections taking place.
“Also it was witnessed that an unrelated white van had collected material put out for the council’s collection.”
Fraudsters have targeted many households in the borough by leaving bags in which to place clothes. They often claim that such textiles will be donated to charity - but they are often sold for profit.
The report also found that households in Rugby are throwing away more and recycling less than they were a year ago.
The borough is the only part of Warwickshire where there has been a fall in the proportion of rubbish being recycled - and a rise in the amount sent to landfill.
The figures have been published by Warwickshire Waste Reduction Partnership.
They show that while the percentage of rubbish sent for recycling rose in every other part of the county in the 12 months from April 2011, it fell from 26 per cent to 25 per cent in Rugby borough.
And the amount thrown in the bin by people in Rugby borough rose by 7.4 per cent - whereas the figure fell in every other part of the county.
In total, households in the borough threw out about 41,000 tonnes of rubbish last year - working out at nearly half a tonne for each person.
About 10,000 tonnes were recycled and 9,000 were composted.
Despite the fall in recycling, the figure for Rugby borough is still the second-highest in the county, just below Stratford’s.