Waste Electrical Equipment and Battery Recycling

WEEE can take it off your hands…

From the biggest TV, to the smallest electric toothbrush, electrical items can be recycled at your local HWRC. This could include:

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  • Kettles and other kitchen electricals
  • Broadband Routers
  • VHS Players
  • Old computers
  • Games consoles
  • Digital cameras
  • Electric Toothbrushes
  • Children’s Toys
  • Mobile phones

The end may not be nigh for your electrical items…

However, did you know you don’t necessarily need to throw this stuff away when it becomes either unwanted or broken?

  • There are various repair cafes located up and down Cornwall which offer the opportunity to extend the life of your equipment whilst simultaneously bringing people together. If there's not one near you, why don’t you find some people to set one up with?
  • Do you feel that what you’re giving away could go to a new home? There are charity shops which would quite happily take and sell on your working electronic items, with the proceeds going to your favourite good cause
  • Have you got some broadband routers which are piling up in a corner somewhere after changing your provider? The majority of broadband providers would be quite happy to take it off your hand free of charge.
  • Mobile phones can have various uses once your contract is up. You could possibly:
    • Use it as an alarm clock
    • With the right software, a simple home security camera
    • Baby monitor
    • Donating your old device to charity such as Oxfam or the British Red Cross
    • Trade it in at a reuse shop - who may pay you for your device.

Tips when purchasing WEEE… remember.

  • If the price is too good to be true, it probably won’t last
  • Do your research beforehand. When glancing at reviews, look particularly at reliability and durability. Will what you buy last?
  • Is it really necessary? Have you got something which already fulfils that need?

Despite the numerous ways in which people can dispose of their batteries, they are still entering the waste stream. In 2014, it was estimated that we throw away 620 million batteries in the UK each year.

In Cornwall specifically, 123 tonnes of batteries are thrown away in residual waste each year, and whilst the weight sounds minimal, this actually equates to 5.35 million batteries (AA Alkaline, 23 grams each), that’s approximately 20 thrown away per year in each of Cornwall’s 270,000 households.

Batteries consist of heavy metals which cause problems when processed with general waste through the Cornwall Energy Recycling Centre as well as being poisonous to our natural environment. 

Some advice on batteries:

  • Reduce: We would primarily recommend not using products with replaceable batteries
  • Reuse / Recharge: If you need to, then in the first instance, its worth getting batteries which are rechargeable
  • Recycle - Battery Boxes: Why not find an old box, and fill it up with “dead” batteries and once its full, just take it to your HWRC or battery recycling point. More information about your local recycling points can be found at the battery bank recycling point finder