It’s fair to say that 2017 was a bumper year for technology lovers. From voice-controlled gadgets for the home, to the latest tablets, consoles and laptops, exciting new technology is being designed every day. So it’s no surprise that many of unwrapped some shiny new tech on Christmas Day.
But what happens with all the technology that gets replaced in the process? The truth is, some of us are guilty of either stuffing outdated or broken gadgets away in a cupboard, or chucking them in with general waste. But there are lots of simple ways to recycle your old equipment after Christmas. We’ve looked at some of the most common items and solutions here.
What to do with your old gadgets
If you’ve got items that are still working but are no longer needed, there’s likely to be someone else who could make good use of them. So as well as offering to family and friends, or selling or giving via sites like eBay and Freecycle, you could try donating to your local charity shop.
Sue Ryder, Age UK and various other charities accept electrical donations at their shops – just call beforehand to check which items they can take. And charities like The British Heart Foundation will collect electrical items and furniture for free – you can book a collection online.
With larger items that are delivered, like TVs and fridges, remember that shops will often collect your old item when they drop off your new one. Even if there’s a charge, it can save you having to dispose of it yourself.
How to recycle your old mobile phone
Most of us can admit to having at least one redundant mobile phone gathering dust in a drawer somewhere at home. Which is daft, when you consider that up to 80% of a mobile phone is completely recyclable.
All the same options apply to passing on your old mobile phone – from donating to charities, who often accept both working and broken mobiles, to selling on sites like eBay, where you can make some extra cash. Or, you can recycle your mobile as a ‘small electrical’ – just be sure to wipe all your personal data first.
How to recycle old batteries
According to www.reducereuserecycle.co.uk, it takes 50 times more energy to make a battery than it gives during its life. And when you consider we bin more than 600 million batteries every year – that’s about 20,000 tonnes of batteries sent to landfill in the UK alone – it’s a pretty shocking statistic.
The good news is, it’s easy to recycle old batteries around the home. Lots of supermarkets and bigger shops – particularly DIY shops and those selling electronics – have designated battery drop-off points where you can dispose of household batteries from toys and gadgets, as well as battery packs from mobiles and laptops. Use the Recycle Now search tool to find the closest one to you. Just whatever you do, don’t thrown them in the bin this Christmas – they’re made with hazardous materials that don’t belong in general waste.
How to recycle your Christmas tree… and everything else
Recycling at Christmas doesn’t stop at technology. The reality is, we consume so much more over the festive period than any other time of year, that we subsequently produce more waste, too.
There’s some great advice on Recycle Now’s website about disposing of things like fairy lights and wreaths – both of which are recyclable – as well as non-recyclables like tinsel and glass baubles. Don’t forget real Christmas trees can be recycled, too, if they’re taken to your nearest suitable recycling point.
Just make sure you take all the decorations off your tree and it’ll be shredded into chippings and given a new lease of life in a park or woodland, or as compost, rather than ending up in landfill. Better yet, keep a potted tree alive in the garden and bring it in every year – provided you’ve got the space of course…
We hope we have given you some food for thought on what to do with your old gadgets.
Why not make a New Years Resolution to declutter your home and recycle more.