Depending on your local council, the way that you run your waste management may differ to that of people in other cities. When it comes to yesterday’s newspapers and empty cordial bottles, the container that you store them in may be green, blue or a garish magenta. It might be a wheelie bin or a small box, and could be emptied weekly or fortnightly. Perhaps you keep it in your kitchen, or in the shed, at the end of your garden or in front of your house; it’s quite an individual arrangement.
However, what we all have in common is a responsibility to properly dispose of our unwanted materials, and a convenient and effective way to do so in the form of regular collections by our local authorities.
Something else that a few of us share is the tendency to put old electrical goods in the bin. Even if you put them in the recycling bin, this isn’t the right thing to do (unless you have a particularly efficient local council). Whether you use the item to cool or heat your food, enjoy music and movies, brush your teeth, dry your hair, send and receive emails or just play Angry Birds when you should be working, it needs to be recycled properly. This is because it’s not only composed of materials that can be reused, but may also contain chemicals or gases that could damage the environment if sent to landfill.
Not sure what to do with an old electrical item? Below are some suggestions.
See if someone else wants it
If it’s still useable, ask your friends and family if they’d like to take it off your hands. Pop a picture of it on your Facebook profile, place an ad in the local paper, or maybe your workplace can put it to good use. If not, some charity shops accept electrical items, so give one a ring and see if they’d like you to bring it in.
Use the web
It’s damaged or dangerous
Ah, in that case you definitely shouldn’t pass it on or sell it. Instead, contact your local council to see if they’ll collect it. If not, there should be a waste and recycling centre nearby that accepts electrical items. Take it in and they’ll ensure that the materials are reused, right down to the battery acid!
A big difference
If each of us takes recycling and waste management seriously, together we can help the UK become a zero waste economy as fast as possible. (Plus if that iPod’s still working, you’ll save a few quid by giving it to Uncle Jeff for his birthday.)