Waste in the city – week 7 (The Smith Family- Site visit)

14 Sep

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Our week 7’s schedule is visiting the Smith Family Site where is located on

Villawood; takes around 50 minutes train from city to Leightonfield station. We

were visiting the site and viewing their textile recycles process.  The date 14th of

September, the weather was terrible. Windy plus heavy raining, however, the

most of us still made it, traveled a long way to the Smith Family Site.

The staff there is very kind and they were all keen to answer all the questions we

asked. In the beginning section, we all sitting in a room for a small welcome +

introduction lecture which help us to understand what is Smith Family about

and the idea and purpose of their motivation to doing the textile recycling for

such a long period.

The most exciting part for me will be the tour section, we allocated into 6 small

groups and there is a guide for each group, the guide brought us look around

different sections in the firm, our guide his name is Paul, maybe because we are

the last group so he spent longer time (compared with other groups) to explain

in details on each departments. He talks about what each department for, the

staffs’ duty and also talks through some functions of the machines…etc.

The first stop of our tour was the “Textile distribution section”. I found that the

most of the staffs are female (Asian Ladies) who are doing clothes distribution

into different categories. Paul says the most of them works for this firm around

10~15 years. (After train them, they want to keep them) And since this job not

require communication skill (English), therefore, even they cannot speak fluent

English, however, they can still doing well for their duty. Paul also mentioned

about the reason they only use female in this section is because male is not

careful enough when they doing the distribution. When we passed through the

storage area we saw hundred sacks of clothes already been truss up and ready

to be transit into other countries. In this firm all of the cardboard boxes are

reusable; they use the box over and over again until it cannot be loaded

anymore. Paul also took us to the heavy work department, with a lot of big and

heavy running machines which produce thick textiles such as carpets, textile


I will never forget this experience it is worthwhile for us to travel such long way

to there. I still remember few weeks ago when Kerryn (the morning lecturer in

week 5) gave us the lecture which made me feel really interested about textile

waste, also after viewing the short documentary film “T-shirt travel”, makes me

feel like to know more about the textile waste problems and also the

recycling industry. So that I think this site visit trip was fascinating which is

related with what we are learning in this lab, which provides some useful

information for our next group design project as well. In addition, it is good to

know about the textile recycle process even just for broaden and enrich our



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