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New lease of life for old electricals this Christmas

Dec 08, 2008
Local authorities in north London have joined forces with high street giants including Currys, TK Maxx and Orange, to make it easier for people to recycle old electrical goods.

In addition to the nine reuse and recycling centres in north London already collecting unwanted electricals, retailers are offering to take back electrical waste in store or fund local authority schemes.

The initiative is running across the seven London boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest in partnership with the North London Waste Authority.

Nearly 40 stores nationwide from Aldi's through to PC World are supporting the scheme and residents can find out where their nearest drop off point is by visiting

New research by Recycle Now reveals that stored in every home there is, on average, three old, broken or unwanted small electrical goods including kettles, hairdryers and games consoles.

Cllr Clyde Loakes, Chair of the North London Waste Authority, said:

"With a quarter of us planning to buy electrical or electronic goods as presents this Christmas, many old items will be gathering dust in our cupboards and cluttering up our houses.

"There's huge potential to recycle these items into new products, rather than throw them away and we are delighted that it is now easier than ever before to do so."

154 million small electrical products were bought in the UK in the last year alone, equating to around 551,000 tonnes in total. However, in the same period only 56,000 tonnes of small electrical items were recycled in the UK and 670 tonnes in north London.

Technology presenter Jason Bradbury, from Channel Five's The Gadget Show, who is supporting Recycle Now in helping to raise awareness of electrical recycling, said:

"Almost everyone now regularly recycles some kind of household waste but, despite the fact we use a multitude of gizmos and gadgets in our daily lives, few of us are aware of how easily we can recycle old electricals."

- Ends -

Notes to Editors

Visit our waste & resources pages for further information about recycling electricals in north London including what can be recycled and where.

Stores that take back electrical items (when a replacement is bought) include:

Three, Aldi, Apple, Beaverbrooks, Klik, Max Spailmann, Carphone Warehouse, Curry's, Day Lewis, Debenhams, Empire Direct, F.Hinds, Fonehouse, Fraser Hart, Game, Gamestation, Goldsmiths, Hobby Craft, Mackro, Londis, Orange, Past Times, PC World, Perfect Home, Phones 4 U, Roseby's, Ryness Electrical Supplies, Sally Salon Services, Signet Group, The Entertainer, The Range, TJ Hughes, TK Maxx, Vodaphone and Whittards of Chelsea.

Recycle Now commissioned YouGov to carry out an online survey.  Fieldwork was undertaken between 4th and 6th November 2008 and the total research sample size was 1684 adults. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all England adults (aged 18+).

Market sales figures for year ending September 2008 were supplied by GfK NOP. The 154 million small electronic products bought included: 23 million mobile phones; 29 million kitchen appliances (kettles, toasters, mixers, etc.); 23 million personal appliances (hair care, shavers, etc.); 20 million personal audio devices (e.g. mp3 players); 7.5 million LCD TVs; and 5.4 million laptop PCs. Waste electrical figures are those according to the Environment Agency's statistics from July 2007 to July 2008.

Environment Agency figures for electronic and electrical equipment purchased in the UK July07 - June08. Categories 2 - 9 are classified as 'small': Small Household Appliances, IT and Telcomms Equipment, Consumer Equipment, Lighting Equipment, Electrical and Electronic Tools, Toys Leisure and Sports, Medical Devices, Monitoring and Control Instruments

About WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment)

The UK Regulations on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) came into force in January 2007 and place financial and other responsibilities on producers (mainly manufacturers and importers) and distributors (generally wholesalers, retailers and distance sellers) for the collection and responsible disposal of old equipment at end of life.  These regulations ensure facilities are in place to enable consumers to return unwanted electrical equipment - basically anything with batteries or a plug - to retailers on the purchase of a replacement item.  Retailers not wishing to offer in-store take back must subscribe to a national scheme that supports designated collection facilities at local authority and other recycling and collection centres. For more information visit: