Monday, 9 February 2015

Has it lost its sparkle? Recycle it!

Cambridge City Residents are being asked by Cambridge City Council to recycle their unwanted electrical and electronic items in the busy winter sales time.

Appliances in working condition can be donated to some charity shops, resold to others directly or via second hand shops, or given to somebody who needs them via websites like Freegle or Freecycle. To protect yourself from identity fraud or other misuse of data, remove any personal information from data-carrying appliances.

Items that are not working and are beyond repair, can be recycled. Residents in Cambridge can use recycling points in the city for small WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) or check local events for WEEE collections. Larger appliance can be taken to Recycling Centres in Milton or Thriplow, or can be collected by Cambridge City Council. Some retailers also offer a collection service, so it is worth asking them when purchasing a new product.

In year 2013/14, in Cambridge alone, eight tonnes of small WEEE was collected from nine WEEE recycling points and further 19 tonnes of large and small WEEE was collected during community events. The items go to the largest WEEE processers in the country, Environcom in Grantham.

The recycling process involves separating different materials such as plastic, wood, metal, batteries, cables, rubber, to mention just a few. It also allows extracting precious metals like gold. One tonne of discarded mobile phones yields up to 150g of gold. In comparison, one tonne of ore from a gold mine produces about 5g of gold.

Cllr Peter Roberts, Executive Councillor for Environment, Waste and Public Health, said: “We ask residents to dispose of their electrical and electronic appliances that they no longer need in a responsible manner. There is a variety of options involving local shops, charities, the council’s services and community events.

“We are doing well already but it’s very likely that most households have reusable or recyclable items hidden away and gathering dust, be it an old hairdryer, toaster, kettle, phone or camera.”

Research by WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) has shown that most households have at least three items of old, unwanted or broken electronic or electrical equipment at any one time, and that the public is often unsure of how to dispose of it.

For more information about recycling, visit and to find a local recycling point, go to To find out more about the chargeable bulky collections or to arrange one, call 01223 458282.