How to recycle electricals How to recycle electrical items


There are a range of ways you can recycle or reuse waste electricals.

How can I recycle my old electrical products?

In the UK we throw away around a million tonnes of electrical goods every year - enough to fill six Wembley Stadiums.

Recycling waste electronics means hazardous substances can be removed and stops large amounts of electrical material going to landfill. You can recycle everything from large items such as fridges and washing machines to smaller items such as hair dryers and mobile phones. Check out our for an item-by-item guide.

There are a wide range of ways you can avoid your unwanted electricals and electronics ending up in landfill:

1Stores' collection service

When you buy a new appliance, ask the shop or manufacturer if it offers a removal service for your old one and if there is a charge for this service. Some manufacturers will pick up old appliances when they deliver new ones, and dispose of them for you. But most will suggest contacting your council about disposal. 

2Store take-back scheme

Some shops allow you to drop off old electrical items for recycling when buying a new like-for-like electrical product . Ask in stores to find out whether this service is offered.

3Local recycling centre

Contact your local recycling centre to find out what types of  electronic and electrical equipment they accept and in what condition. You can find your local recycling centre using the Recycle Now website.

4Council collection service

Ask your council to pick up your unwanted electrical products for recycling – they must collect it if you ask, but may charge a fee.

5Donate electrical goods to charity

Some charity shops, accept small, working electrical items, but always call ahead to check your item can be accepted.

6Make money recycling waste electricals and other products

You can make money recycling mobile phones, MP3 players and digital cameras through certain companies. Check out our 50 ways to make money guide includes ten ideas on making extra cash by going green  from unwanted items.

You can use an online auction site such as eBay to sell on unwanted electrical items in good condition. See our guide to selling on eBay for tips and advice.

7Give away unwanted electricals 

Give away working electrical items to those that need them through community reusing scheme such as Freecycle.

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