Another pleasing aspect as to how both councils and the general public now ″get″ the concept of recycling is the appearance of recycling points for small electrical appliances.
Previously, things like old electric irons, kettles, toasters and the like might have been thrown directly into the bin and could easily end up in landfill. While there’s a school of thought that says we should bury the odd TV and hair dryer in a hole in the ground for future civilisations to discover, we’re not of this view at all. We’d much rather they went to a responsible waste company that can have their components recycled for further use.
According to Which, the British people throw away a million tons of electrical goods every year, and we’re certain that this is more than enough for future civilisations to make up their minds about us (and conclude that we were the most wasteful and destructive people the world has ever known).
Fortunately, there are now several options for the consumer that mean we no longer have to contribute to this growing mountain of unwanted electricals.
Firstly, you can simply ask the retailer if they’ll take the old item off your hands. Most already have an electrical recycling scheme on the go and will be happy to do so. In the case of larger white goods like cookers and fridges, they’ll collect when they deliver the new one. Some businesses also have a take-back scheme, where they’ll accept a similar old item when you buy like-for-like. Some will even offer a discount to encourage you to make your purchase.
Local council-run recycling centres have been accepting used electricals for some time now. In some cases, you might still have to leave them with the metal goods, but many now have bins or a separate area for electrical goods.
Now – and we were more that pleased to see them being rolled out in town centres – are bottle bank-style bins for electrical goods. Some of these benefit charities, some are simply council run, meaning that you can dump your old coffee maker on the way to Starbucks.
If none of these grab you, there’s always charity shops (if you can prove the item’s still working), eBay, or just give them away. There’s always somebody out there who’ll take an old item off your hands, which is why Freecycle now exists.
But now there’s no excuse for dumping old electrical good in the bin.
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