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Last year West Londoners threw away 1,700 tonnes of electricals in the rubbish bin instead of repairing or recycling. This is a huge waste of resources, especially when you know the amount of virgin resources it takes to create your electricals, which will end up being wasted.

Impact of electricals

You should NEVER throw your electrical items in the bin! Throwing away electricals can do more harm than help. From first hand experiences, we’ve seen waste electricals which have been thrown in the bin cause fires at our waste transfer stations and Recycling Centres. That’s why it’s imperative you dispose of your electrical correctly.

Discarded electricals are one of the fastest-growing sources of waste in the world – and the UK. Producing electricals creates carbon emissions. Recycling our old electricals would cut as much CO2 as taking 1.3 million cars off the road. Discarded or hoarded household electricals cost the UK economy £370 million per year of lost valuable raw materials such as gold, copper, aluminium and steel.

What happens to my electricals?

Electrical items collected in West London are sent to a reprocessing site in Kent where the electricals are broken down into smaller components to be recycled. Screens are recycled for their glass and the internal components are broken up and recycled separately.

Reduce
  • Ask yourself if you’ll really use it.

  • Don’t buy new and consider second-hand to save yourself loads of money in the process. Try sites such as Ebay, Gumtree, Freecycle and Freegle.

  • Know what you want from your new gadget or appliance before you buy. If you buy the wrong item return it, don’t leave it in a cupboard or drawer.

  • Buy a quality item that will last. Usually, the longer the product guarantee, the longer it will last.

  • Take care of your TV, kettle or electric razor to get the most from it.

  • Find out if you can Share, borrow, lend or hire one instead.

Reuse

Only reuse if the item still works.

  • Sell it online or put an advert in your local paper

  • Offer it as a swap item

  • Donate working items to charity. Check with your local shop first as not all shops can accept electrical items. Visit londonreuse.org to find projects who re-use electrical items in your local area.

Repair
  • Find out if it can be repaired. The manufacturer will have a list of approved repair centres or find your nearest local repair shop

  • Take your small electronics to repair workshops throughout West London. These are usually FREE events run by volunteers within the community, where you can pick up a few tricks to help extend the life of your electronics. Whether it’s a hoover that isn’t working correctly or an old toaster that refuses to heat up, bring them along and learn from other people within your community.

  • Abbey Road recycling centre and Townmead Road Recycling centre are accepting laptops and tablets to be repaired and donated via our Fixing Factory.

For all other information on what you can do with all your WEEE, visit the Electrical repair directory on our website.

How to recycle your electricals

We all love our electrical appliances and gadgets but when they break or get replaced with something new and shiny, it doesn’t have to be game over.

Bag your small electricals ready for collection through your kerbside service or through TRAID’s service. If you have larger items that cannot be collected, visit your local recycling centre to dispose of your electricals for free.

Find out about other convenient ways to recycle your electricals including on-street recycling sites, collections from your home and retailer take-back schemes at recycleyourelectricals.org.uk

Store take-back scheme - Thanks to the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations, many companies such as Curry/PC World run a take back scheme which allows consumers to give back their old electronics for them to be recycled, free of charge. If you buy a new kettle, bring along your old one, even if you didn’t buy it from that shop, they have to take it back, for FREE.

What can be recycled?

Anything that uses a battery, plug or charger, from a vacuum cleaner to a mobile phone and everything in-between can be recycled.

Small electricals can be recycled through your kerbside collection scheme but things like Fridges, Microwaves & Cookers can only be recycled through the bulky waste collections or at your local recycling centre. These whitegoods are too big to be recycled through traditional methods and must be sent for separate processing.

  • Irons
  • Clocks
  • Sat nav devices
  • Toasters
  • Radios
  • Remotes
  • Kettles
  • PC/Laptops
  • Printers
  • Coffee machines
  • Tablets
  • Landline telephones
  • Hairdryers
  • Video cameras
  • Any electrical wires/cables
West London Waste Authority has partnered with TRAID to collect all your unwanted clothes and shoes directly from your home.
Visit page to find out more
Still wanting to visit your local Recycling Centre?

Brent recycling centre

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Ealing recycling centre

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Harrow recycling centre

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Hillingdon recycling centre

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Hounslow recycling centre

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Richmond recycling centre

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Find out where you can get your broken or faulty electrical items repaired.

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Further reading

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Materials

From household kerbside collections to your local recycling centres, we deal with a number of different types of waste materials.

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