What to do with
There are lots of things that fall into this category including items such as alarm clocks; CD/DVD/Cassette players and game consoles; small kitchen appliances such as kettles, toasters, food mixers and blenders, microwave ovens; personal grooming products like hairdryers, straighteners, curling tongs, electric toothbrushes and shavers; garden tools such as lawnmowers, hedge trimmers and leaf blowers/shredders; other items such as lamps, torches, vacuum cleaners, telephones, mobiles, radios, TV's, printers, camcorders, cameras and smoke alarms.
How do I recycle it?
It's easy to check if an electrical item, toy or game is recyclable. Simply ask the following questions and if the answer is yes (to any of these) - it is recyclable:
- Does it have a plug?
- Does it use batteries?
- Does it need charging?
- Does it have a picture of a crossed out wheelie bin on it?
Often shops will collect your unwanted electricals when they deliver your new one - especially larger items like TV's, fridges and freezers (please note that retailers may charge to collect your old electricals)
For peace of mind, remove your personal data
It’s up to you to make sure your personal data has been, or will be, removed from your electronic devices. And we’re not just talking mobile phones, tablets and laptops. Lots of electrical items store information about us, from smart TVs to sat navs. Take care of your personal data and reduce the risk of it being used by someone else. Check out the latest advice from the independent consumer organisation Which?:
It's still working - what else can I do?
If you have an electrical item that is still in good working condition, consider the following options.
Be sure to read our advice above to ensure that your personal data is removed from your electronic devices before you pass them on or recycle them.
Pass them on...
Charity and re-use organisations
- Electrical items can be donated to some charity shops or furniture re-use organisations - many offer collection services. Some have added their details to the Recycling Locator
- Check to see if your council offers a service for re-use
- If you live in Northern Ireland, try re:store, a chain of outlets run by the East Belfast Mission. They accept a wide range of donated items
- If you live in Scotland: call the National re-use phone line to donate your furniture on 0800 0665 820 (NB. Unfortunately TVs are not accepted).
- Pass on items for free at places such as Freecycle and Freegle
- Search online for companies that will exchange old electrical items for cash
- Or sell them on websites like eBay, Gumtree and Preloved
- Ask family and friends if they would like your unwanted electricals - it could be just what they are looking for...
- Look out for local swapping events - you might even bag yourself a bargain in return!
- Sell locally at car boot, nearly new and bring and buy sales
- Put an ad in your local newspaper or shop window
- Some shops such as Cash Converters and CeX buy electrical or electronic items, especially if you have the original box and instructions etc.
- For unwanted mobile phones and tablets Argos is now offering an over the counter trade-in service at all stores nationwide, where you can get an instance quote and exchange for gift vouchers.