Don't waste your electrical items

By Trash Talk on May 20, 09 03:33 PM

Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is the fastest growing waste stream in the EU and some estimates put the amount generated at 14-20kg per person per year.

Householders have to plan how to dispose of large electrical goods and usually require help, for example from the local authority or a shop take-back scheme.

But it is much easier to drop small electrical items in the bin and householders may not even realise that such items can be recycled or that they pose a problem to the environment if disposed off in the general waste.

Just think of all the electrical items you have in the home or on your person: mobile phones, computers peripherals, irons, toasters, kettles, novelty items, Christmas lights, clocks, memory sticks, music players - the list goes on and on and is added to every year. None of these items should be put in the general waste and most have some components that can be recycled.

A lot of these items can be reused so you may consider selling it on or donating the item to your local charity shop or swapping it using an on-line service such as

Your local household waste recycling site will have a WEEE collection point for both large and small items. Items deposited there will be managed responsibly and recycled.

Not sure if an item counts as WEEE - a general rule is: if it has a plug, uses a battery (even if the battery comes out), plugs into something that has a plug or battery, or a symbol of a bin with a cross over it - it is WEEE and should not be put in the bin.

To find your nearest recycling point, enter your postcode into the RecycleNow site finder here.

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