Waste Less Electricals

At the start of the year we looked at how to waste less electricals.

Back to the current campaign on Waste Less Textiles.

It’s thought that 2,500 tonnes of smaller electrical goods are thrown away in West Sussex every year. In landfill tax alone, that’s a cost to taxpayers of £206,500!

Yet all electrical appliances from around the home, and even your garage and shed, can be recycled and given the chance to come back as something new.

If you have old, broken electricals at home, please take them to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Site, all of which have an electrical waste container. This ensures all the component parts which can be recycled, are recycled. Toasters could come back as laptops, and there’s enough steel in an iron to produce 13 baked bean cans.

  • You can take all your unwanted electrical items to any Household Recycling Sites across West Sussex.
  • Please DON’T put electrical appliances in your recycling bin at home as these will cause damage to the sorting equipment at Ford Materials Recycling Facility (MRF).

What is Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)?

WEEE is any electrical/electronic equipment which people dispose of. An electrical item is anything with a plug, batteries or that needs charging. Items include vacuum cleaners, toasters and all IT and telecoms equipment such as TVs, radios, games consoles and electric drills. WEEE can be found not just inside the home but outside too - lawnmowers, hedge trimmers, grass strimmers. We want it all! It is important to note, any electrical appliances which are still in good working order can be reused through being re-sold or given away. For example there are Facebook gaming groups for every district in West Sussex where consoles and games can be swopped or sold.

If you don't want it, and you can't sell it on or give it away, any of our 11 Household Waste Recycling Sites in West Sussex will accept all of the following in their WEEE containers:

  • Hair tongs
  • Clocks
  • Electric tooth brushes
  • Shavers
  • Small DIY tools
  • Radios
  • Stereos and speakers
  • Cables
  • Lawnmowers
  • Toasters
  • Hairdryers
  • Phones, chargers and tablets
  • Remote controls
  • Digital boxes
  • Electronic toys
  • Kettles
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Irons
  • Juicers
  • Blenders
  • Sandwich makers

There are separate areas for lightbulbs and strip-lights; fridges and freezers; televisions, laptops and computer monitors; washing machines, tumble dryers and microwaves - so do look out for these as you drive around the site.

CRAWLEY ONLY: If you live in Crawley, you can also leave small WEEE out for collection outside your home for your bin crew to collect. More info for Crawley residents here. This collection applies to small handheld electrical items only, and they must be placed inside a bag.

Why is it important for us to recycle our electrical appliances?

Under the EU WEEE Directive and implemented by our own government's WEEE Regulations 2006, and as your County Council we have a legal requirement to recycle all electrical and electronic equipment. Any electrical appliance must be recycled through an approved and licensed treatment plant.

Many electrical items such as mobile phones and handheld computers contain valuable plastics and metals. With natural resources in limited supply and soaring landfill costs, it is important that we recycle these materials so they can be used in new products.

Reusing such valuable materials ensures resources aren't lost; less virgin materials have to be sourced; and less energy is used to create things from recycled materials.

Where do the items go?

West Sussex County Council works in partnership with Viridor who manage our Household Waste Recycling Sites around the county and Light Brothers, who collect the electricals you drop off at the sites. They are considered the UK's leading specialist in WEEE disposal and treatment.

Items are shredded to reduce volume and are mechanically separated into their component parts (plastics, ferrous metals and non-ferrous metals). The materials collected can be used to produce a mixed grade plastic, which can be used to make street furniture. Any metals recovered are passed on for reuse.

Want more information? Visit www.recycleforwestsussex.org.uk/