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.
When you recycle your old electricals, you’re giving a new lease of life to a whole range of valuable materials.
Our unwanted electricals contain valuable materials including plastics and metals such as gold, copper, steel and aluminium.
From your recycling point, old electricals are taken to a reprocessing plant, where they’re sorted, broken apart by hand, and shredded into small pieces.
Steel and other ferrous metals are separated by magnet, and other metals are removed using electrical currents. Plastic is also sorted into different types and ground up.
Recovered metals and plastics become valuable commodities to the UK economy. They’re sold on the open market and can be turned into new products – from bicycles to life-saving equipment.
There are loads of places that you can take your unwanted electricals for repair, reuse or recycling.
From council recycling centres to libraries, a variety of local places will welcome your old electricals. Some councils even collect from your home.
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.
Once you’ve decided to recycle your electricals, preparing them is simple.
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.
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.
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.