Can You Put Electrical Items in the Bin?
Has your kettle seen better days? Or maybe your old laptop has finally given up the ghost? From kitchen appliances to smartphones, we use a vast range of electrical products in our day-to-day lives. However, with technology advancing faster than ever before, we inevitably find ourselves with outdated or malfunctioning electrical devices sooner or later.
But what can we do with these unwanted electronics? Can we just toss them in a wheelie bin and hope for the best? SWS Waste is an expert in this field and we’re here to help you dispose of your old electrical items in a responsible and environmentally friendly way.
What is electronic waste?
The term electronic waste, also referred to as e-waste, covers all electrical items that are obsolete, broken or that have reached the end of their lifespan. This can include laptops, tablets, toasters, kettles, printers, hairdryers and much more — basically anything with a plug, cord or electrical component.
Why is it important to dispose of electronic waste correctly?
A recent study by Uswitch has found that the UK is one of the worst offenders for generating electronic waste, with an estimated 23.9kg per capita produced last year. This is the second-highest amount per capita in the world, and this figure is only expected to rise. In today’s climate, where we should all be implementing green practices and reducing our carbon footprint, this simply isn’t good enough.
Can you put electrical items in the bin?
In short, no; putting electrical items into any kind of bin – be that a recycling bin or a skip – is strictly forbidden. Electronic waste contains hazardous substances, such as lead and mercury. When electronic waste is disposed of in a bin, it will be sent to landfill sites, where these toxic materials can contaminate the surrounding water and soil sources and pose health risks to both humans and wildlife. Electronics also contain sought-after materials, such as gold, silver, copper, platinum, aluminium and more, and by improperly discarding these items, you are throwing away valuable, non-renewable resources.
How to properly dispose of electrical waste
So if you can’t put electrical items in the bin, how do you dispose of them? Well, there are a few different options for electronic waste disposal, including:
- Reuse: If your electronic device is still in good working order, why not reuse it? You could donate to a local charity shop, gift to a friend or even sell your old items.
- Take to select retailers: Certain retailers may offer a trade-in scheme where they recycle your old electronics for you when you purchase an upgrade.
- Take to a local recycling centre: Many recycling centres will take e-waste off your hands; however, it’s always best to ring ahead and check.
- WEEE recycling: Contact a trusted waste management firm, like SCS Waste, and use their WEEE recycling services.
How does WEEE recycling work?
WEEE stands for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, meaning any electrical goods that are being thrown away. Here at SCS Waste, we carry out legally compliant WEEE recycling to divert your rubbish away from landfill. During this process, your e-waste will be transported from your home to the recycling site in a specialist vehicle. The device will then be dismantled and any valuable components, such as circuit boards or memory chips, will be removed for recycling or reuse. Any hazardous materials will also be safely extracted and disposed of. All the different raw materials, such as plastics and metals, will then be separated before being shredded and crushed into smaller pieces for further processing.
Ensure your e-waste is disposed of in an environmentally friendly way with electrical waste disposal services from SCS Waste. Whether you’re just looking to get rid of some small, unwanted home appliances or you’re discarding an office’s worth of electrical goods, our eco-conscious team can help.