OLD uniforms once worn by Northern rail staff are being given a new lease of life.

During the past year, the company – which runs trains on the Airedale route – has recycled more than 10,000kg of garments which have reached the end of the working line.

The clothing is shredded and transformed into other products, thanks to a partnership signed last year with recycling specialist Avena.

Northern says the move has so far saved more than 4,000kg in carbon emissions, compared to if the same volume of material had been sent to landfill.

Mike Roe, Northern's safety and environment director, says: "We have tens of thousands of pieces of uniform and workwear in use by colleagues across the business at any one time.

"Through natural wear and tear and turnover of staff, we regularly have to order-in fresh supplies.

"Many of the used items feature the Northern logo and therefore have to be disposed of safely for security reasons, to avoid the possibility of them being misused by anyone looking to impersonate rail workers.

"As part of the recycling drive, end-of-life uniforms have been collected from 25 depots and train crew centres across our network on a regular basis over the last year.

"Knowing that we’ve sent so much material for recycling, which would otherwise have been incinerated or gone to landfill, is something Northern can be proud of."

To mark the first anniversary of its partnership with Avena, Northern has taken part in a video case study in a bid to encourage other organisations with high quantities of end-of-life uniforms to recycle more.

Elliott Garner, for Avena, says: "We are delighted to have developed our relationship with Northern over the past 12 months.

"The recent joint video project underscores Northern's commitment to advancing sustainability goals, directly supported by our SecureBrand uniform recycling solution.

"Avena takes pride in securely recycling all Northern uniforms in the most effective way possible, guaranteeing complete avoidance from landfill.

"The implementation of SecureBrand across 25 Northern sites heavily reduces the risk of uniform breaches and impersonation attempts.

"We look forward to continuing to secure the future of Northern for years to come.”

Northern, the second largest train operator in the UK, runs 2,500 services a day to more than 500 stations across the north.