As we are using more and more technology, the amount of electrical and electronic waste that we are producing is rising higher than ever before. In fact, on average, the UK buys around 170 million new electrical items every year – that’s a lot of old items being thrown out to make way for new ones! In January 2007, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations came into force, which aims to increase the amount of this waste that is recycled.
Popular WEEE items are kitchen appliances, computers, mobile phones, televisions and tablets.
During their lifetime, the average British citizen will produce around 3.3 tonnes of electrical waste, and 1.2 million tonnes of this waste is disposed of every year in the UK.
WEEE items are sorted into categories according to their size and usability. For example, large appliances such as washing machines or dishwashers are a WEE category 1. However, other large items that perform a different type of function (such as a vending machine) are categorised as WEE cat. 10. The value of recycling these items varies and is usually determined by weight.
Fun facts about WEEE recycling:
- If you were to place the 15 million phones that are upgraded each year in a line, they would reach from one end of Britain to the other!
- In the UK, around two million TV sets are thrown away every year!
- The amount of electrical waste that is produced every year in the UK is enough to fill the new Wembley stadium 6 times over!
- The zinc that is found in mobile phones can be used to build ships.
- Some electrical items can even contain valuable metals like gold or silver.
- Sometimes – the gold that is used within games consoles is recycled and made into jewellery.
Here at Maxileads, we use state of the art equipment to ensure that your electrical items are disposed of in the most environmentally friendly way possible. Find out more here.