Did you get any gadgets for Christmas? A lot of us did I think! I did and the children did too. Electrical devices are very popular gifts, as we use so many gadgets: mobile phones, cameras, household items and and even toys! There are so many toys that works with battery or charger, the age of the interactive toys we live in.
In fact over Christmas – according to a research undertaken by Material Focus, the not-for-profit behind the Recycle Your Electricals campaign – 41% of UK adults (21.4 million of us) planned to buy tech over the festive trading period (Black Friday and Christmas)
But what can we do with the old ones? Well, the best thing to do is recycle them – given if they are not in working condition or they became unwanted. You can even get paid to recycle! The last thing we want is them to end up in the dump and landfill. Producing electricals creates carbon emissions. We could save millions of tonnes of CO2 if we recycled our old electricals, instead of binning them. Recycling all our old unwanted electricals could also create hundreds of new jobs in electrical reuse and recycling.
How much useless or unused electricals are we holding onto?
The research has found that over 2 million said they will hoard at least 2.2 million (after buying a new one over Black Friday and Christmas) older items somewhere at home (do you? I do!) What are these? Everything from broken cables to old mobile phones.
And how much are we throwing away without saving the parts that can be reused?
Our old unwanted electricals are creating a rising tide in electrical waste not only in the UK but globally as. well.
Electric items if not disposed properly and not being recycled can also create other problems. Informal processing of e-waste in developing countries can lead to adverse human health effects and environmental pollution. Electronic scrap components, such as CPUs, contain potentially harmful materials such as lead.
However, according to the research, almost 3 million of us planned to send at least 2.7 million older, unwanted electrical items to landfill. Whilst only 19% said they were planning on donating their old electric devices to charity, 67% said they would knowing that old electricals CAN be donated to those in need (after the festive period). People simply don’t know what to do with unwanted electricals.
Luckily there is a safe way to get rid of them and recycle them.
What can they be recycled into?
Tiny amounts of precious metals in millions of old electricals can be salvaged and turned into valuable new products – including jewellery, life-saving equipment, bicycles – and even new electricals.
If you recycle your old electricals in the right way, almost all the materials get processed in the UK and become a valuable UK commodity. The electrical recycling locator shows you where to recycle old electricals to ensure this happens.
About the Recycle Your Electricals campaign
The Recycle Your Electricals campaign is calling on UK households to stop throwing away and hoarding their small old electricals and instead start doing something useful with them by donating or recycling them.
If donated to someone in need, all items sent to landfill or hoarded would have a donation value of almost £160 million – according to the Reuse Network.
The campaign is revealing the value hidden in electricals and is making it easier for us all to recycle and reuse the small electricals we no longer need, doing this by providing more recycling points as well as providing practical information on how households can recycle.