Waste electrical items

The facts

Electricals are the fastest growing waste stream in the UK, on average each person buys 3 new electrical appliances every year - that`s around 160 million items per year!

We dispose of over 1.2 million tonnes of electronic and electrical equipment every year in the UK - if we convert that, it`s the same weight as around 12 million Cumbrian sheep!

Why shouldn`t I just put my waste electricals in my general household waste bin/bag?

Many people don`t realise that old electronic devices should never be placed in your general waste bin when they reach the end of their working life. This is because electrical equipment often contains hazardous substances that impact the environment and human health.

So, what do you do with your old electronic devices?

There are some easy options available to you when disposing of unwanted electrical and electronic devices:

1. Pass them on to friends or family

2. Find an online/offline trade-in service

3. Sell the devices online via eBay, Gumtree or Shpock etc.

4. Sell via social media (e.g. Facebook Marketplace, Depop etc.)

5. Re-use the items

6. Give to charity

7. Recycle the devices

How can I recycle my electricals?

Recycling electrical and electronic devices is easier than ever and with over 2,500 electrical recycling and reuse points in the UK, you`ll find the right place for your old tech near you. Recycle your electricals has a handy postcode finder - just type in your postcode and it will show you stores and other locations in your local area that will accept your old electricals, light bulbs and batteries.

In Cumbria, you can take your old, broken electricals along to any one of our 14 Household Waste Recycling Centres for recycling. Place them in the small Waste Electricals skip but if you can, please remove any batteries first and place them in the separate battery recycling banks. Please ask site staff if you are unsure where to put something. Lithium-ion batteries can be especially dangerous if not recycled properly. These are the type of batteries usually found in laptops, tablets and mobile phones as well as some toys, shavers, electric toothbrushes and even e-cigarettes. Lithium-ion batteries are thought to have caused over 250 fires at waste facilities over the year to March 2020 - over a third of all fires.

If you have a question about resources or recycling in Cumbria call our helpline on  0300 003 1118
or email us at  wastepermits@cumbria.gov.uk
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