What is the Retailer Take-back scheme for electricals?

Buying a new electrical item from the high street? Shops will now recycle the one you’re replacing – for free.

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Electrical recycling near me

The Retailer Take-back scheme at a glance

With over 22,100 new drop-off points to recycle your electricals

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Free in-store recycling

If you’re buying a new toaster, kettle – or any new electrical item – you can now recycle your old one at the same store.

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Old for new

Anything with a plug, battery or cable can be recycled and turned into something new – from children’s playgrounds to life-saving equipment!

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Skip the trip to the tip

Thousands of retailers are offering the service – so remember to take your old electrical when you go shopping for something new.

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When did this happen?

It all kicked in on 1 January 2021 with the Retailer Take-back scheme, which applies across the UK. Ready to recycle?

How to swap old electricals for new

It’s as easy as ABC

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Are you planning to buy something with a plug, battery or cable? And do you have an old one to get rid of? If the answer to both questions is yes, go to B.

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Find a bag and put your old electrical item in it. If it’s a big item, you might need a big bag. Or a box. Just make sure you can carry it. Then leave it at the door ready to take with you to the shops.

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Before you go, check you’ve removed batteries, SIM and memory cards. Check you have deleted your personal data from any laptops, phones or other smart gadgets.

Find your nearest recycling point
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Retailer Take-back scheme – the fine print

  • Any large shop that sells electricals will take your old item if you buy new from them
  • You have 28 days after buying something new to take your old one in for recycling – and it doesn’t need to have come from the same shop
  • Some big stores will accept old electronics from you whether you’re buying from them or not. Currys PC World, B&Q, and John Lewis will take back all electricals – without the need to buy a new one.
  • Participating stores will make sure the precious materials in your dear old vacuum cleaner/toaster/torch are recycled and disposed of properly to be reborn as useful new products

For more detail check out the FAQs below, and our page on retailers and appliance recycling.

Find your nearest recycling and reuse point