Dispose of your WEEE responsibly this Christmas

Filed in Blog by on December 21, 2009 3 Comments
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Dispose of your WEEE responsibly this Christmas

Dispose of your WEEE responsibly this Christmas

It’s estimated that around 150 million small electrical products are bought each year in the UK for Christmas. Items such as new toys, gadgets, power tools and kitchen appliances are popular choices;  yet most will end up in the landfill once they have fulfilled their useful life.

A campaign to raise awareness of how to dispose of broken and unwanted waste electronics and electrical equipment (WEEE) is being launched by the Recycle for Gloucestershire team in the run up to the festivities.

Everything from kettles, razors, torches, drills, cameras and Christmas tree lights fall under WEEE.  I was astonished to learn that a staggering 500 tonnes of Christmas lights alone are discarded in the UK over the holiday season.

WEEE consists of anything with a plug, removable or internal batteries. For more information see our WEEE article. You’ll learn about the crossed out wheelie bin symbol and the reasons why our WEEE should not be put into landfill.if you fancy something light hearted to help you remember things, why not have a go at the ReGeneration game!

On average every Gloucestershire home has at least 3 old broken or unwanted small electrical items such as hair dryers, kettles or old mobile phones.

Regardless of where you live, the message is to dispose of WEEE responsibly either at the local Household Recycling Centre or take it to stores offering a take back scheme. Check out Recycle Now’s “Don’t bin it, Bring it” site for more details.

To determine whether your item is WEEE or not, Recycle for Gloucestershire recommend asking these simple questions…

• Does it have a plug?
• Does it use batteries?
• Does it need charging?
• Does it have the crossed-out wheelie bin logo on it?

If you can answer “YES” to any of the above, you can recycle it with WEEE facilities.

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About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (3)

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  1. Sooz says:

    Excellent post! More people need to know about WEEE I think – I recently rescued two of my broken electric toothbrushes from the bin, much to my mums annoynace after she’d disposed of them in there (serves me right I suppose for ‘storing’ them until I could take them to the recycling centre on the bathroom shelf!) and kept them until we went to the recycling centre where I was very happy to find a special skip for them – there was no info on my councils website though and no reply to my email about disposing of small electricals, so goodness knows what I’d have done with them if I hadn’t have found the weee bin!

  2. That’s an astounding statistic about christmas lights! 500 tonnes! Once we get that big, I almost can’t conceive of it. I actually noticed 3 or 4 dead lights on my string this year – I thought those LED ones were supposed to last for years and years?

    Your WEEE program sounds great. British Columbia is almost up to speed, but I think we are leading the way for the rest of Canada in that sort of recycling so far.

  3. Mrs Green says:

    @Sooz: Hi Sooz, glad you rescued the toothbrushes and you highlight an important issue about the need for more information to be readily available.

    @Jen Clean Bin: HI Jen; the statistic is amazing isn’t it – I had to phone the council and recheck before I wrote it because it sounded far too silly. but I am assured it is the right figure 🙁 I thought LEDs were supposed to last forever too – what a shame some of yours are worn out already.

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