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We all know we should be recycling more, but the guidelines can be confusing as to what we can and can’t throw in our household recycling bin and what requires a bit more organisation. 


Despite the fact that many UK households and businesses still don’t recycle enough, improving your recycling efforts can really help the environment. It prevents items going to landfill, means the materials can be repurposed into new items and can even save money. We’re here to help you by making recycling easier, so in this blog we’ll go through what you can and can’t recycle when it comes to e-waste. 

Which items can I recycle?

The good news is that when it comes to waste electrical items, most products can be recycled. If an item has a plug, uses batteries, needs a charger or has a picture of a crossed-out wheelie bin on it, it can be recycled. So, gardening and DIY tools like lawnmowers and drills, personal grooming products like hair straighteners, hairdryers, shavers and electric toothbrushes, and kitchen appliances like kettles, toasters and blenders, can all be recycled. You can also recycle lamps, torches, fairy lights, vacuum cleaners, printers and phones. 

Are there electrical items that can’t be recycled?

While most electronics can be recycled, there are a few that can’t. Anything that contains, or might contain, mercury or lead needs to be handled as hazardous waste as they can be extremely damaging to the environment and ecosystems. These include LCD TVs, fridge-freezers, pre-1991 TVs and fluorescent tubing. 

How to recycle electronics

Whether you’re a homeowner disposing of the occasional appliance, or a business getting rid of electrical items regularly, knowing the rules and regulations is essential. Many companies who produce and sell electronics will offer a take back scheme to recycle items for consumers, and local charities might welcome donations of working electronics. Your local recycling centre will have areas to dispose of electronic products, or you can use a service like Priority WEEE to collect your electrical waste and ensure it’s disposed of safely. 

Best practices when recycling electronics

Make sure you don’t put small electronics in your kerb-side recycling bin, as they’re often made from materials that can shatter and create safety hazards for workers or contaminate other recyclables in that load.

You also want to carefully consider data security when you’re disposing of items like laptops or anything that contains private data. You should only ever sell or donate items that can’t store information, such as power tools or kitchen appliances, as anything with a hard drive can put your data at risk if it falls in the wrong hands. 

Lastly, make sure you remember to remove any batteries from items where possible. It is sometimes possible to recycle batteries, but many common batteries can also simply be thrown into the rubbish. The exception is lithium-ion batteries which can usually be returned to the manufacturer to be disposed of safely. 

If you’re unsure about any electrical waste products you have, or if you’d like to book our collection services, please get in touch with us today.