A considerable number of small electrical appliances are bought in the UK every year, and only a small proportion of the old ones are currently being recycled or reused.
In fact, around one million tonnes of electrical and electronic waste are generated every year.
Whether your appliance is in a working condition or completely broken, there are things you can do! From recycling it to giving it away to someone else.
In this article, we’ll take a look at all of your options.
A few examples of small appliances are:
If you have an unwanted small electrical item that is still in a safe and working condition, you have a plethora of options for what to do with it.
One suggestion is to give the appliance away to a family member or friend; they may appreciate this if they don’t have one, or theirs is coming to the end of its life. Electrical appliances can be expensive to buy, so being given a second-hand one from someone else can be extremely helpful.
Alternatively, you could list your unwanted item on Freecycle. If you’re not yet familiar with Freecycle, it is a non-profit movement for people who wish to give or receive free items in their local area. Again, your unwanted items could be precious to someone else — a free kettle, for example, could make a world of difference to a family in need.
If you want to earn some money back on your unwanted small electricals, you could put them up for sale on Amazon or eBay. To do this, you need to provide a description of your item alongside an image or two and ensure it is in a safe condition to be sold.
If your small domestic appliance is broken, don’t worry – there are still things you can do to keep it out of landfill.
One option is to check if your appliance is entirely broken and beyond repair. Often, a repair could cost you less money than buying a replacement.
If your item is beyond repair, then it’s time to recycle. It is vital to recycle broken electrical appliances to avoid negatively impacting the environment.
It is easy to check if your appliance can be recycled. If it has a plug, uses batteries, needs charging or has a picture of a crossed-out wheelie bin on it – it can be recycled.
There are plenty of online resources for finding a recycling service near you. Some are listed below:
You must not put your broken appliances into a regular recycle bin; councils don’t allow it and it could be dangerous.
Once you have dropped your small electrical items off at a collection point, they are taken to a reprocessing plant and shredded into small pieces.
Next, strong magnets remove ferrous metals like steel, and electronic currents remove other metals. Plastic is sorted into different types by using near-infrared light and density separation.
These materials are then recycled and repurposed as appropriate.