Recycling electronics couldn't be easier

17 Mar 2011

If your garage has become a resting place for old TVs, computers and mobile phones then perhaps the time has come to say goodbye to those greying gadgets by hitting the recycle button.

Consider recycling your TV when it is ready for the scrap heap

Directgov estimates that we throw away nearly half a million tonnes of electrical goods every year, so why not recycle instead of mixing them with household rubbish?

As well as clearing out some much-needed space for the kids’ bikes and earning a bumper crop of brownie points for getting around to a job that has probably needed doing for months, you’ll also earn green credentials by helping save the environment.

But what can you recycle and how do you do it?

Well, mobile phones, printer cartridges, washing machines, computers, fridge freezers and DVD players are all fair game. And there are many ways of doing it too – you can make use of websites such as Freecycle to give your unwanted appliances to other people, or take them to a charity shop.

If you want to give the environment a helping hand, mobile phones are a good place to start. Many recycling schemes donate cash for recycled handsets to environmental charities. But charity donations aren’t the only way such recycling helps the environment. Many people hang onto old mobile phones, TVs, desktop PCs and other items with the vague hope of one day using them again. But for most that day never comes and these once impressive gadgets end up on a landfill site.

With many of appliances containing hazardous substances, their arrival at landfill is bad news for the soil and the wildlife that lives among it. So why not let your old printer cartridge be a boost rather than a burden – once it has been sold on, reconditioned and refilled that is?

If it’s an old computer you want to see the back of your local council may be happy to take it off your hands before restoring it and putting it back into use. Some councils offer a collection service, whereas others will have a recycling site. But if you’d prefer to pass it onto a charity or voluntary organisation, then all you need to know is at Donate a PC. But remember to remove all personal data first.

Also, with the digital switchover a current hot topic, many people will be looking to upgrade their TV. Much of a television set is ripe for reuse, so why not give yours a second wind by dropping it into a council-run site?

Current Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (Weee) Directive rules mean that firms selling electrical goods covered by the directive have to help consumers recycle their old devices after making a purchase – meaning it’s easier than ever to go green..

And if you’re buying a product from Currys, doing your bit for the environment is a doddle. When the Currys Currys boys deliver your new electrical equipment, they will take away your old appliance and recycle it for free – doing all the hard work for you!

Remember, if you recycle items following any of the above methods you will doing your bit to prevent harmful chemicals damaging the environment and the wildlife that inhabits it.

If you’re unsure of what you shouldn’t be putting out with household rubbish, look out for a wheelie bin symbol with a cross through it on your electrical goods.

Are you already clued up on recycling electronic equipment? What’s next on your list to recycle? Comment below…

Related in How to

How to pair your Apple Watch with your iPhone

16 Sep 2021

Vacuum cleaner tools: which tool to use and when

15 Sep 2021

10 must-have gadgets for every first year student

26 Aug 2021

Celebrating Pride at Currys

24 Aug 2021

Tech to take with you to uni halls

11 Aug 2021