WEEE stands for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, and it’s the fastest growing waste stream in the UK. Annually, we throw away approximately one million tonnes of WEEE – enough to fill Wembley Stadium six times over.
And those figures are just for household waste. Much more is disposed of by industrial and commercial companies.
With the lifespan of electrical items seemingly becoming shorter as we continually strive to buy the latest gadgets, this problem looks set to grow.
We as a local skip hire company in Chelsea have come up with some great tips on how to dispose of electronically items.
Dangers of Using Landfill
WEEE covers a wide variety of items – essentially anything that needs a plug or battery to operate it.
When an electrical item breaks, it’s easy to simply turn around and throw it in the bin. However these items all contain a number of hazardous substances and parts. If you throw them away, they will end up in landfill, where those hazardous substances can break down, damaging our environment, causing pollution and posing a health risk to humans and wildlife.
So don’t lob that old toaster in the bin, or toss your mobile phone into the trash. Separate out all WEEE items and deal with them properly.
Items in Good Condition
If the item is still in good working order but you have no use for it, you have a number of options.
If it’s worth some cash, advertise it for sale online using sites such as eBay or Gumtree. Consider advertising in your local ads paper or placing an ad in your corner store, or take the item to Cash Converters.
There are a number of websites such as Freecycle and Freegle where you can pass items on for free as long as the buyer collects.
There are also certain charity shops that accept unwanted electrical goods, and would be very grateful for your donations.
If your electrical item is broken and not worth fixing, then it should be recycled.
Household waste recycling centres (HWRC) collect electrical goods in 5 different containers: fridges and freezers; TVs and computer monitors; large household items like dishwashers and washing machines; small items like kettles and toasters; and fluorescent lighting tubes.
Councils offer an electrical recycling collection for large or bulky items – some offer free collections while others charge a small fee.
There are also some recycling centres who offer a free collection service – a simple online search will help you to locate one in your area – and many skip companies offer WEEE recycling collections.
When WEEE items reach the recycling plant, they are broken down into separate parts. Sometimes, for items such as TVs, people break them down into usable parts. For others, machines will separate and sort the material.
Recycling WEEE items is incredibly important. Not only are you saving the environment from unnecessary pollution, you’re also helping to conserve our precious natural resources. For example, mobile phones have a small amount of silver in them. While it may not seem much, if we simply throw old phones away, we will continue to destroy rainforests to mine this precious resource.
So take responsibility for your WEEE and dispose of it correctly.