Reuse Network member hopes to collect 24,000 unwanted electrical items in the Highland

Posted on the 18th November 2020

One of the new Small Electrical Waste containers. From left to right: Jonathon Merriman, Store Manager, Tesco Dingwall (where the Dingwall container is located) and Martin Macleod, CEO, ILM Highland.

One of the new Small Electrical Waste containers. From left to right: Jonathon Merriman, Store Manager, Tesco Dingwall (where the Dingwall container is located) and Martin Macleod, CEO, ILM Highland.

New electrical waste collection containers in Highland will aim to collect 24,000 unwanted small electrical items providing 1,200 of refurbished affordable electricals for local residents.

Householders in Highland will be able to easily declutter their unwanted small electricals via a new service providing 10 new collection containers funded by Material Focus to support Reuse Network member, ILM Highland and help save the environment. ILM Highland has been operating across Highland for over 26 years, providing Electrical Waste Recycling and Reuse services, refurbished retail and funded home improvement support for the vulnerable.

The service aims to collect 24,000 unwanted electricals of which 1,200 will be refurbished and sold at affordable prices to local residents. The project will help to reduce electrical waste, boost the local economy by providing a new dedicated Recycling Operative job and help combat climate change by saving 6,888 kg CO2 too.

Recent research, by the new not for profit Material Focus, has found that UK householders are hoarding 527 million small electrical items, an average of nearly 20 per household. And the problem is set to get worse as waste electricals are one of the fastest-growing waste streams in the world and the UK. Instead, the majority of electricals can either be re-used or the materials contained in them recycled by being turned into anything from life-saving equipment to children’s playgrounds.*

In a concerted effort to tackle this growing challenge, Material Focus have funded ILM Highland to set up the new collection scheme, as part of the Recycle Your Electricals Campaign. The scheme will collect all items of small electrical waste including kettles, toasters, phones, techno gadgets, electrical toys, hairdryers, DIY power tools, electrical garden equipment – anything small with a plug, battery, or cable can be reused or recycled. The new Small Electrical Waste containers are to be sited in 10 key locations to encourage greater responsible disposal of small electrical waste instead of discarding these items in the green bin. The new container locations currently include Fortrose, Muir of Ord, Conon Bridge, Dingwall, Alness, Invergordon, Bonar Bridge and Dornoch.

Martin Macleod, CEO at ILM Highland, said: “We were keen to get behind the Recycle Your Electricals campaign and make it easier for Highland residents to de-clutter, donate to a local good cause and do their bit to save the planet. It’s estimated that every household in the UK has around £620 worth of electronics sitting unused. These could provide a lifeline for someone unable to buy new, and for those who are looking to buy second hand to protect our environment. Even broken items can be utilised in unexpected ways, with components being recycled in various ways.”

Scott Butler, Executive Director of Material Focus, said: “This project is vital to ensuring that we make good use of our old electricals. Whether they are re-used or recycled – these items contain valuable materials that will otherwise be lost forever. Our research has shown that in the UK we are hoarding over 527 million small electrical items, an average of 20 per household, which is why we have recently launched our Recycle Your Electricals campaign. We are delighted to be working with ILM Highland, who is one of a number of new re-use projects that we are funding in the UK. So whether you are at home or work, please hunt out your old electricals and donate them to benefit your community.”

The scheme will ensure that all items are safe, with ILM Highland securely collecting discarded small electrical waste items from the containers, cleaning and testing equipment before making it available in their shop for locals to purchase. Householders can be completely reassured that all data-bearing devices will be securely wiped by ILM Highland – who offer a complete and secure hard drive data destruction service. Other electrical goods not suitable for reuse will be recycled. The profits from the sale of the refurbished electricals will support the provision of ILM’s Handyperson and Home Improvement services to the elderly and disabled including veterans across the Ross-shire and Sutherland community.

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