e-waste. The problem with throwing away old electricals

Discarded electricals are one of the fastest-growing sources of waste in the world – and the UK.

What are the problems with throwing away our old electricals?

Discarding our old electricals, instead of recycling or reusing them creates e-waste – and that poses a major threat to the environment and to human health.

Lost resources

If our old electricals end up in landfill, or flytipped instead of recycled, then valuable resources are lost forever.

Environmental damage

Digging raw materials out of the ground damages the environment. Reusing and correctly recycling means less damage.

Loss of financial value

If old electricals were passed on and resold by charities, for example – those funds could make a big difference to people’s lives

Climate change

Producing electricals creates carbon emissions. We could save millions of tonnes of CO2 if we recycled our old electricals, instead of binning them.

A photo of a dismantled washing machine

Did you know?

What can we all do to solve the problem?

All your old electrical items with a plug, battery or cable can be recycled – and many can be reused or repaired.

Pass it on

If you don’t want it, pass it on. Charities can raise vital funds by selling your old electricals, or giving them to low-income households.

Fix it

Many organisations can repair and refurbish your small electricals. Ask the original manufacturer for a list of their authorised repair networks.

Recycle it

A massive 75% of the materials in old electricals can be recycled and turned into anything from life-saving equipment to children’s playgrounds.

Find out how you can get involved

Electrical waste is a massive problem, so we need to work together to solve it. Find out what you can do.

Find your nearest recycling point