When buying a new home appliance, we generally forget what we will do with our old one. Usually we just end up dumping it at the local dump yard. It’s no surprise that 76% of us believe there should be better facilities for us to recycle our old electrical items locally.
Every year, we throw away around a million tonnes of electrical goods. To give you an example, this is enough electrical waste to fill 6 Wembley Stadiums. By recycling your old electrical goods, you can ensure that all the hazardous substances are removed, and sorting through the rest and recycling what can be recycled, preventing it from filling up landfill sites.
Many people assume that you can only recycle large appliances like fridge freezers, washing machines and dishwashers. But this is not the case, if you fancy having a clear out and have old DVD players, kettles, and even hair dryers lying around, all of these can be recycled too.
In Europe we have a European Directive called the Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (Weee) Directive. Its aim is to encourage more of us to recycle and re-use our old items.
If a shop selling electrical products,
has signed up to the Weee Directive, then they have to help their customers recycle their old electrical items for free. There are several ways a company can help customers:
- They can collect old electrical items, when they deliver the new item.
- They can offer customers money off, when they trade in their old electrical item
- They can also help find and pay for an alternative recycling company.
It is easy to know if a shop is covered by the Weee Directive, as they will feature this wheelie bin logo.
The Weee Directive is in place to help retailers provide recycling information to customers, so they know how and where to get rid of their old electrical items, without dumping them in the bin.
Although this all sounds very formal, and a process that should happen, there is nothing stopping you from chucking you electrical item in the bin. The Weee Directive simply helps make it easier for you to recycle your old items, by supporting a network of recycling collection points.
If you’re still confused about how to recycle your old electrical items, then make sure you ask your retailer the following questions:
- Is the retailer covered by the Weee Directive?
- Do they have a trade-in scheme? For example if you want to purchase a new washing machine, do they give you money off when you trade-in your old one?
- Where is your local recycling centre?
- Do they collect your old electrical items when they deliver the new one?
If you don’t want to recycle it, you always have the option to sell it on and make some money on it. But do think about the environment when you make your decision.