Got a kettle that’s given up the ghost? Or a hairdryer that’s no longer in working order?
SCDC are urging residents not to put small electrical items in general waste but take them to recycling banks of which two new locations are now being trialled.
Since mid-February 2017, special recycling banks for small WEEE (small waste electronic and electrical equipment) have been in place at the community recycling points at the Market Place car park in Saxmundham, and behind the Deben Pool swimming pool in Station Road, Woodbridge, as a trial scheme.
The trial facilities in Saxmundham and Woodbridge complement existing facilities at the three Household Waste Recycling Centres in the district at Felixstowe, Leiston and Foxhall, all of which also accept waste electrical and electronic items in addition to a comprehensive range of other household items for recycling, meaning that people living in or near these five locations now have an electrical waste recycling point nearby.
The new facilities enable residents to deposit waste items such as hairdryers, kettles, toasters, electric clocks, irons, food mixers, DVD players, radios and small electrical hand tools, and are serviced by the Council’s operational partner Suffolk Coastal Norse.
The new banks in Saxmundham and Woodbridge have already been found to have diverted around 2 tonnes, comprising an estimated 1500 small domestic appliances destined for recycling, which might otherwise have gone to waste. The trial is ongoing, and Suffolk Coastal will continue to monitor its effect.
Households in the UK have an average of 25 electrical and electronic items and, currently, only 10% of them end up being recycled when they reach the end of their useful life. These items should not be placed in any of the wheeled bins that residents have at home, as they contain a mixture of materials, including metals that can be harmful if not disposed of correctly, but which are valuable if recycled properly.
Electrical items are one of the common contaminants found in the blue-lidded recycling wheeled bins, causing problems at the recycling sorting facility at Great Blakenham. The items also cause problems when they are placed in the grey-lidded residual bins, as the hazardous materials affect the quality of the ash residue which is a product of the incineration process at the Energy from Waste Plant.
Cllr Carol Poulter, cabinet member for the Green Environment, said: “We hope the recycling points encourage more people to recycle their electrical items as they make it more convenient for local residents to recycle small electrical and electronic items in the correct way.
“The recovery of the potentially hazardous but valuable components that these electronic items contain is an added bonus of this recycling initiative which will help protect the local and global environments for future generations to come.
“Of course, if your unwanted electrical or electronic items are in good condition and full working order, consider offering them for reuse via local charity shops or an online reuse network, and help keep them out of the waste stream in the first place.”
The community recycling point behind the Deben Pool in Woodbridge has also recently seen its textile bank capacity upgraded.