News release from 15/08/2022

New collection banks installed to recycle small electricals

New collection banks installed to recycle small electricals

Recycling small electricals like toasters, phones and hairdryers is easier for local people after more drop-off points were installed.

Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service, a partnership between Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council, has placed eight new pink collection banks for small electrical items at recycling points, with more locations planned.

Small old electrical items are one of the fastest growing waste streams in the UK.

According to the Recycle Your Electricals campaign, the number of old cables alone that remain in UK households (140 million) is enough to circle the Earth more than five times.

In the Greater Cambridge area, figures from the RECAP waste partnership show that an average of 450 tonnes of small electrical equipment is disposed of in black bins every year, ending up in landfill where it will never break down and harms the environment.

Greater Cambridge Shared Waste is joining the national Recycle Your Electricals Campaign to stop as many old small electrical items as possible from cluttering our homes or worse, going into kerbside bins where they end up in landfill. The campaign features the quirky ‘HypnoCat’ who encourages humans to recycle correctly and provides a postcode locator with details of over 2,500 recycling, repair and reuse points across the UK. 

Cambridge City Council’s Executive Councillor for Environment, Climate Change, and Biodiversity, Cllr Rosy Moore said, “We’re keen for residents to donate unwanted items to suitable charities and look for repair options for their broken appliances wherever possible – our excellent local volunteer Repair Café network is one way to do this. But there will always be some electrical items that are too old or cannot be repaired, and it’s very important that these are not binned with household rubbish, or even recycling. They contain precious materials like gold, aluminium and steel which are needed for making new items, and they have to be recycled separately which is why we are working hard to make it as easy and accessible as possible for residents to recycle them.”

South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Brian Milnes said: “Through our shared waste service, this is another example of how we are working to make it easier and more convenient for our residents to do their bit for the environment. Anything with a plug, battery or cable is an electrical item and can be recycled. Gather your old or broken small electricals and take them to one of the new recycling banks – anything up to 29cm in its largest dimension will fit. Larger items can be taken to the Household Recycling Centres near Milton or Thriplow.” 

Where are the new recycling banks for small electricals? 

  • Gwydir Street car park, Cambridge
  • Lammas Land car park, Cambridge
  • Abbey Pool car park, Cambridge
  • Chesterton Road public toilets, Cambridge
  • Morrisons car park, Cambourne
  • Tesco car park, Bar Hill
  • Village car park, High Street, Melbourn
  • Tesco car park, Fulbourn

There are existing banks at Glebe Farm Drive, Fawcett Road and Hawkey Road in Cambridge, as well as Milton and Thriplow Household Recycling Centres. Small appliances can also be handed in for recycling in-store at Curry’s on Newmarket Road in Cambridge. 

What kind of small electrical items can I recycle? 

Anything up to 29cm in its largest dimension, which has a plug, battery or cable. If batteries are removeable, take these out and recycle them separately. Some examples of suitable items include: 

  • Kettles, toasters, sandwich toasters, stick blenders
  • Games consoles, DVD players
  • Hand-held vacuum cleaners, electric toothbrushes
  • Mobile phones, tablets and smart devices
  • Cables and headphones
  • Printers and scanners
  • Laptops, keyboards and IT accessories

Please note that smoke detectors, light bulbs, e-cigarettes, batteries, paints, chemicals or aerosols are not accepted in these banks. 

Find out more about how to re-use, repair and recycle your electricals at Recycle Your Electricals