You can recycle your electrical and electronic devices free at your local recycling centre. To find your nearest centre, visit the Recycle More website and type in your postcode.
Unfortunately, the benefits we gain from our devices and gadgets can come at the expense of the environment. Unwanted electrical equipment is the fastest growing form or waste in the UK. An incredible 170 million electrical items are purchased in the UK every year. Less than one third of these are recycled when they come to the end of their useful lives. Electrical and electronic equipment is made from diverse materials, many of which can be reused. Equipment which is not recycled constitutes a mountain of waste which ends up in landfill.
Many electrical items can be recycled, conserving precious natural resources and protecting the environment. When equipment is sent to landfill, hazardous substances can leach out, contaminating the soil and water courses. This damages the eco system and can seriously harm both wildlife and human health.
More than 600 million batteries are thrown away each year in the UK. That’s roughly 10 batteries for every person. Batteries contain hazardous chemicals including lead, cadmium, zinc, lithium and even mercury which are particularly harmful to the environment. Unfortunately, it takes 50 times more energy to manufacture any battery than that battery will produce in its lifetime. Batteries are therefore contributing to the CO2 emissions which cause global warming. Over 20,000 tonnes of batteries end up in landfill every year.
We must all take responsibility for disposing of our spent batteries correctly to protect eco systems and to reduce energy consumption.
Since battery recycling laws came into force in 2010, most shops and supermarkets that sell batteries have placed collection bins in-store for used batteries. In addition, you will find collection bins in some schools, local authority premises and libraries. Many Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) also accept batteries. Visit the Recycle More website and type in your postcode to discover your nearest centre.
By recycling your batteries, you are enabling the recovery of materials which can be utilised to manufacture new items including batteries. This will minimise both the depletion of natural resources and energy usage. For instance, cobalt and steel can be recovered from the lithium-ion batteries that power electronic cigarettes.
Vaping devices sold in the UK must carry the crossed out wheeled-bin symbol. This is there to remind you that your equipment can be recycled after you have finished with it. Please do not throw any electrical equipment (including those marked with the crossed out wheeled bin symbol) into your bin or any public waste bin.
Waste electrical and electronic equipment is known as WEEE. This includes most products which have a plug or need a battery to power them.
To address the growing issue of waste, the EU introduced the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive in 2013. This was adopted in the UK and is aimed at maximising the volume of equipment which is collected separately, recycled or disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.
Under the regulations featured in the directive, retailers of vaping devices are required to provide a system which gives clients purchasing new devices the opportunity to recycle their old ones free of charge. As a responsible retailer, we have met the requirements placed on us by joining the Distributor Take back Scheme (DTS). This is approved by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The DTS scheme is operated by Valpak Retail WEEE Services Ltd. You can view our Membership Certificate on the left - if it's a bit small you can see a larger PDF version here.
Retailers are required to pay membership fees in order to join the DTS scheme. The fees collected are used to fund WEEE projects which are designed to increase the rate of WEEE collection, reuse and recycling in the UK. New Civic Amenity (CA) sites are also considered to receive funding.