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Recycle Devon – Re-use of electrical items

A trial to boost re-use of electrical items is taking place at five Household Waste Recycling Centres across Devon.

The project, funded by the electricals industry to encourage the re-use of electrical items, will initially focus on flat screen TVs, vacuum cleaners and lighting. 

In 2018/19, over 7,200 tonnes of electrical items were recycled through Devon’s recycling centres and the trial aims to go one step further and capture any items that are still in good working order to keep them in circulation for longer.

The participating trial sites are:

  • Pinbrook Recycling Centre, Exeter
  • Ivybridge Recycling Centre
  • Brunel Road Recycling Centre, Newton Abbot
  • Knowle Hill Recycling Centre, Exmouth
  • Bideford Recycling Centre

Residents arriving at participating recycling centres with flat screen TVs, vacuum cleaners or lighting will now be asked by site staff if the item is still working and in good condition.

Items that can be reused will be PAT and function tested by trained site staff and then made available in the site’s reuse shop for the public to buy, along with furniture, bric-a-brac and other re-useable household items. Non-working electrical items and any failing the testing procedure will be recycled.  

It is estimated that following the testing process, 33% of TVs, 50% of vacuums and 72% of lighting/lamps will be suitable to re-use, meaning an additional 48 tonnes of electrical goods will be re-used per year at participating sites.

Recycling centre re-sale shops are popular with the public as they offer a range of household items at affordable prices.  Public demand for re-sale shops to include electrical items has grown as budget savvy shoppers embrace the cost savings of buying re-usable goods, whilst also benefiting the environment.    

The grant has helped provide workshop and testing facilities as well as staff training to allow re-useable items to be function and safety tested prior to re-sale.  It is anticipated that the scheme will be self-financing going forward which will help keep it going.

Subject to the success of the initial 5 site roll-out, other sites and other electrical items could be added to the scheme in future to further boost re-use in Devon.

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