How electrical recycling works

It starts with you

When you recycle your old electricals, you’re giving a new lease of life to a whole range of valuable materials.

A photo of all the parts in a mobile phone A photo of a woman sorting cables A digger picking up metals at a scrap heap Medical equipment in a hospital

How electrical recycling works

Where can you take your electrical item?

Learning how to recycle your electricals starts with knowing where to go. There are loads of places that you can take your unwanted electricals for repair, reuse or recycling.

Local collection points

From council recycling centres to libraries, a variety of local places will welcome your old electricals. Some councils even collect from your home.

Retailers and manufacturers

When you buy a new electrical item, check if the retailer or manufacturer will recycle your old electricals. More and more are offering this service.


Reuse centres and some charities accept electrical items in good condition that they can sell, or pass on. Find your nearest drop-off point.

As easy as ABC

Once you’ve decided to recycle your electricals, preparing them is simple.


Does your old electrical contain batteries or bulbs? Remove these before recycling. It’s your responsibility to remove personal data from smart devices and computers, so remember to take out memory cards and delete your data.


Find a bag that you can use to store all your old electricals until you can go to the recycling centre – or until collection day, if you have one.


Check our easy recycling locator to find your nearest repair, reuse or recycling point. Some councils will collect directly from your home. Otherwise keep your electricals in your bag until you can visit a drop-off point.

Recycling locator
recycling bin photo

How does it work?

Do old electricals just get shipped to developing countries?

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. Our electrical recycling locator shows you where to recycle old electricals to ensure this happens.


Transforming waste into national pride

Japan spent 2 years collecting small old electricals from all over the country ahead of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. 80,000 tonnes of old electricals, previously regarded as waste, are being turned into 5,000 gold, silver and bronze medals for Olympians and Paralympians to wear with pride.

Find your nearest recycling point