40 projects across the UK have been granted £1.8 million making it easier for 10 million residents to recycle their electricals.

Media release, 27th September 2023

Material Focus is delighted to announce that over 40 projects across the UK have been allocated £1.8 million to make it easier for 10 million residents to recycle their electricals. The aim of the Electricals Recycling Fund is to significantly reduce the environmental impact of e-waste by making it easier for consumers to recycle their electricals. These projects will provide a variety of recycling methods, from kerbside collections to more drop-off points in schools, community centres, and on-street bring banks. Overall there will be over 400 new collection points plus kerbside collections for 5.5 million UK residents.

Material Focus research has shown that 80% of consumers believe recycling is a good thing, and many of us already recycle things like paper and plastic. Research has also shown that most of us have unwanted electricals we want to get rid of, even if it’s just a drawer of cables – millions of electrical items are hoarded in UK homes. And yet 39% of people bin electricals rather than recycle them and say that they think it’s too hard to recycle. The aim of these projects is to overcome these issues by making it easier to recycle electricals. Here is a selection of these projects:

  • Half a million residents of Richmond Upon Thames and Wandsworth Councils will be able to recycle their electricals through the introduction of a small waste electricals kerbside collection service and bring banks providing them with easier recycling options for their waste electricals.
  • The Library of Things, will be launching an online platform that allows their existing 12,000+ Brighton and London users to connect with more sustainable and affordable alternatives to buying electrical items including rental, repair, reuse and recycling services. They want to develop new elements of their service to unlock latent capacity in communities to self-organise and take local action on e-waste
  • Solihull Council in partnership with Veolia will provide a bookable kerbside collection service which will be available to over 215,000 residents in the Solihull area, making it convenient for them to responsibly dispose of their small electrical items.
  • North Tyneside Council will set up 30 additional small electricals recycling points in schools and community centres across their local area. This initiative will enable 209,000 residents of North Tyneside to recycle their electricals.  
  • Four thousand residents in North Kensington in West London, will be provided with new local drop-off points, regular collections, and educational electrical repair workshops, to enable them to recycle or repair their electricals.

“We are thrilled to support these innovative projects that address the pressing issue of e-waste.” said Scott Butler, Executive Director of Material Focus. “By investing in improved drop-off options services and exploring new ways of collecting electricals, we are taking a significant step towards creating a more sustainable future by making it easier for 10 million more people to recycle their electricals.”

Councillor Ken Hawkins, Solihull Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructure, said: “It’s great that our residents will soon be able to get rid of their small electrical goods in a responsible and environmentally friendly way. Recycling and reusing materials is key to creating a circular economy where we reduce the need for ‘new’ resources by reusing old ones. I am sure our residents will appreciate this new service from Veolia, supported by Material Focus.”

Charlotte Thorpe, from Library of Things said: “In London and Brighton, more than 16,000 residents have already prevented over 150 tonnes of electrical waste from ending up in landfill by renting instead of buying occasional use household items. Some of our users are already active zero-waste champions – organising repair parties and swap shops, and telling neighbours about services and campaigns to reduce waste. We want to support more of this – becoming a platform for local people to organise around reuse and repair.”

Material Focus will be opening a new round of funding for projects early next year, so please stay tuned for more updates. If you have any questions regarding the Electricals Recycling Fund, please contact funding@materialfocus.org.uk.


Notes to Editors

For media enquiries please contact kate@materialfocus.org.uk mobile 07714 708416

About Material Focus and the Recycle Your Electricals campaign

Material Focus is a not-for-profit organisation whose goal is to stop the nation throwing away or hoarding all their old small electricals. Material Focus is leading the UK-wide Recycle Your Electricals campaign. The campaign is revealing the value hidden in electricals and is making it easier for us all to recycle and reuse the small electricals we no longer need by providing more recycling points as well as providing practical information on how households can recycle.

These projects are being supported by producer compliance schemes including Ecosurety, ERP, Recolight, REPIC, Transform, Valpak, Veolia and Wastecare.

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