Recycle cables and leads

Tied up in knots over what to do with unwanted cables and leads? Not sure if you can recycle cables? Let’s straighten things out.

electrical cables and wires can be recycled electrical cables and wires can be recycled

How to recycle cables and leads

Anything with a plug, battery or cable can be recycled – including the cables themselves.

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Do you really need all those old cables and leads you have tucked away? Do they work? Could they be repaired?

illustration of bag to collect old electrcials for recycling


To recycle, find a bag that you can use to store old cables and leads until you can go to the recycling centre – or until collection day, if you have one.

Laptop with recycling locator icon


Find your local recycling point. Simply pop your postcode into our recycling locator. That’s it!

Recycling locator

Where to recycle cables and leads

Why recycle cables and leads?

Electrical cables and leads are hidden treasure. And the great thing is they are simple to recycle.

electrical cables should be recycled, not hoarded

140 million unused cables

Most of us have a drawer full of old cables and leads. In fact, you could circle the Earth five times with the cables hiding in UK homes.

metal from scrap

Cables and leads are valuable

Copper, aluminium, even gold are used in cables, leads and wiring. These are precious materials that can be turned into new products.

cable plastics being recycled

Dispose of plastics properly

Recycling cables and leads means the plastic coating won’t end up polluting the environment. So don’t throw cables or leads in the rubbish.

electrical cables and power leads can be recycled

Every cable counts

It’s not just your phone lead. Vacuum cleaners, TVs, lamps, electric guitars, washing machines – recycle all electrical cables.

Before you recycle old cables and leads

Think about repairing, passing them on or even selling them.

repairing electricals can save money and resources

Repair cables and leads

A soldering iron or screwdriver may be all it takes to repair a broken cable or fit a new plug to a power lead. See our page on repairing electricals.

Repair electronics
Charity electrical recycling and reuse shop front - British Heart Foundation

Donate old cables and leads

Some charities will accept chargers and leads in working order for resale or recycling. See our page on donating electricals to charity.

Donate electrical goods
collect electrical cables in a bag to recycle

Recycle cables for cash

Car boot sales, local networks or online marketplaces such as Gumtree and Ebay are all worth checking out.

Cash in your electricals
retailers take back electricals for recycling

Did you know?

Retailers will take back old cables and leads

Thousands of shops across the UK will now take your old electrical products for recycling if you’re buying from them. And many stores will take your old tech even if you’re not buying.

This includes all the accessories including plugs, batteries – and yes, cables.

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hynpocat lying on bin with electricals

Did you know?

A cable is a tell-tail sign

If it has a cable or lead, it means you can recycle it. So don’t let those pesky cables tie you up in knots.

Catch them, bag them, recycle them.