There’s no doubt that the UK is in the midst of an electronic waste crisis with more than two thirds of households sitting on old phone chargers, along with other items. A study by OKdo shows exactly how big our e-waste problem is, why it’s an issue and how we can dispose of electronic items safely and responsibly.
Here we’ll take a look at the key findings and help you get clued up on what to do with your old electronic items without adding to the UK’s landfill.
The UK produces some of the biggest e-waste
With an average of 23.9kg of e-waste per person, the UK is one of the top e-waste producers in the world. Shockingly, during the first six months of 2021, the country produced an amount of electronic waste equivalent to 15 Eiffel Towers.
Cables seem to be a huge contributing factor with 140 million being stored in homes up and down the country. Not only this, households have up to 60 items of old electronics that are left unused in drawers and cupboards.
Why is there such a big e-waste problem?
The main issue appears to be that people simply don’t know how to recycle their old technology with 38% of people aged 45-54 having never done it and are unsure how to. The younger Millennials are more clued up with 31% knowing how to recycle their e-waste.
With electronic products increasing every year and the demand for more digital technology due to remote working, the problem of electronic waste is only going to get worse. Add to this our culture’s obsession with having the latest gadgets and brand-new phones and smart devices, and it’s not difficult to see we’re heading for a serious landfill and environmental issue.
How can we dispose of e-waste safely?
Donating to charity is one way to dispose of unused tech without clogging up landfill. Charities will often donate such technology to communities where items are needed so you’ll be helping others too.
There are also many company initiatives and services which encourage the recycling of old items, often rewarding you for doing so in the form of vouchers or money off a new tech device.
Council collections or recycling centres are another option if you’re looking for a local site to take your old items to. It’s worth checking your local council to make sure your device can be recycled.
By raising awareness of the e-waste problem and making sure we know how to recycle our old technology, we can contribute to a safer and greener environment and possibly help other communities along the way.
We all cherish our electronic devices, from our laptops and mobile phones to our beloved household appliances such as our refrigerators and washing machines. But when these electric appliances become outdated or reach the end of their useful life, they become electronic waste and that’s a big problem.
Whether they’re complete junk or still in good shape, no matter what, you should never just throw an old electronic device in the trash. So how should you deal with old electrical items? Read on to discover some ideas on how you can deal with them.
Millions of tons of e-waste are discarded every year and a very small percentage of them are disposed of properly, all this isn’t good for our environment. Many of the devices we throw away haven’t reached the end of their useful life so before you get rid of them, make sure they are really unusable.
Whether your phone has stopped working or your washing machine is making funny sounds, the first step to take would be to consult an expert. A specialized electrician will accurately diagnose the state of your device and help you determine the best way to deal with it. Sometimes all you need is for an electrician to simply replace one of the device’s parts and it’s almost as good as new.
You can also try to repair some of your old appliances and devices yourself, some items just need a bit of fixing and connecting loose wires. When fixing an item yourself, check the product’s user manual or look for online resources to find the best and safest way to go about it.
Replace your throwaway habits with repairing ones and reduce your e-waste footprint while saving money. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, this will help you reduce any expensive repair costs later on and can greatly extend the lifetime of your devices.
There are many ways you can pass on your unwanted items for reuse. If you decide that you want to dispose of an electrical item, consider selling or donating it. Alternatively, some old devices can be traded-in for new ones for a discounted price.
If your items are old but in good quality why not turn them into money? Second-hand electrics are much cheaper to buy. You can easily sell your old electronics online nowadays. The value of a used electrical item varies greatly depending on the condition, age, and current market price, consider all these elements before posting your item for sale to get the maximum value.
The best time to sell old phones and laptops is before new models are announced, so if you’re seeing headlines about an upcoming phone, it might be the right time to list your old unwanted one.
While you may make more money by selling your old devices, nothing beats the convenience of trading in your old gadget for an upgraded one. Some electronics manufacturers and retailers offer trade-in programs that give you cash or gift cards in exchange for your old electrics if they’re in good shape, others let you trade your unwanted device for a reduced price on a new one. Check the company website of your brand or retailer for details on its program.
Donating to charity is a great way to pass on your unwanted items while helping those in need. Check your local non-profit organization or look for reuse programs that will donate your old devices to people who need them or restore and resell them in support of a variety of good causes.
Before donating your old electrical items, make sure that they still function reliably and that they don’t require major repairs or parts replacement.
You don’t want personal or sensitive information to fall into a stranger’s hand. Before selling or donating your old phone or laptop, retrieve some important stuff that you want to keep like photos, passwords, contacts, and music. Once you’ve backed them up, wipe the device completely clean.
Every time new items are made, resources and raw materials are used. The process of extracting and using these materials creates substantial air and water pollution. We can help reduce these environmental effects and save energy by reusing items whenever possible.
Recycling old household electrical appliances and electronic devices is usually an easy process thanks to the variety of options available.
Some electronics manufacturers and retailers offer recycling programs for their products, call ahead or visit their official websites to make sure the branch near you is accepting your items. You can also find recycling kiosks in many stores where you can drop off old batteries, wires, cords, and cables.
Plenty of nonprofit organizations, local communities, and official organizations also offer services to help you recycle old electronics. Moreover, several cities and towns around the world now have a local e-recycling center. Look for the nearest trusted recycling service or certified facility in your area to safely get rid of your unwanted electrical items.
To check if an old electrical item is recyclable, simply ask the following questions and if the answer is yes, it’s recyclable:
Does it have a plug?
Does it use batteries?
Does it need charging?
Does it have a picture of a crossed-out bin on it?
Some of the most common recyclable electrical goods include
Electric toothbrushes and shavers
Correctly disposing of e-waste ensures that the hazardous materials such as lead and mercury can be treated appropriately and the recyclable components including plastics, glass, and metal can be recovered for reuse. If your electrical item is deemed unfixable or unusable, responsibly dispose of it through recycling.
You are even able to have your items picked up by companies like R3ewaste, which is a certified electronics recycler. They service both small and large companies, government agencies, municipalities, and even provide support for local residents.
Approximately 25% of the electrical items thrown away can still function and most of the rest can be fixed. Always remember the three Rs; repair, reuse, and recycle when dealing with your old electrical items. You’ve got the resources at your fingertips to repair or reuse so many things, consider those first and if all else fails, look for the nearest certified recycling center.
Utilities like water and power can end up costing nearly as much as your rent or house payment in a bad month. Unfortunately, you can’t cut off your water service to save money the way you could cut the cable. Here are a few tips to tame your utility bills and make it easier to pay your electricity bill with ease.
1. Clean Up
Cleaning the coils on your refrigerator helps it work more efficiently. Cleaning the coils on your air conditioner can do the same, but your AC uses far more power than your fridge. Remove any debris from the air intakes, whether it is leaving piles up by the AC or the air vent to your furnace. Rinse the air filters for your room air filters, the air conditioner, and your dehumidifier.
2. Turn It Off
While the appliances that are sleeping may use less energy than when on, the reality is that they use almost as much power in standby as they do when active. The solution is to turn things off. Unless your game station is downloading updates, unplug it to save power. Turn off the TV instead of letting it sit in standby, or worse, use it as background noise.
When gadgets are fully charged, disconnect them from the charging station and turn off the charging station. If you can’t stand to turn off your computer, turn off the monitor instead. Turn off lights when they aren’t in use, and consider when you can utilize natural light instead. Don’t let appliances idly run while you’re busy. Get the clothes out of the dryer instead of letting it run every five minutes to prevent clothes from wrinkling.
Turn off the oven when you’re done with it. The same might be said for your pool pump or air filters. Does it need to be running? If not, consider turning it off for a while. Always aim to improve your habits and to acquire energy-saver appliances. Also, consider that you are still allowed to hire a better energy provider in case the current one is not the best fit regarding your lifestyle. For instance, there are plenty of options when it comes to the most suitable electric companies in dallas.
3. Track Energy Usage
You can get apps that report energy usage in your home. These apps can tap into your smart meter and tell you which appliances are consuming the most energy. If you can’t cut back on energy usage, you could get advice on how to shift energy usage in order to reduce your electric bill.
For example, running the clothes dryer at night may allow you to get utility discounts. One of the advantages of hydroelectric energy is that despite facing daily and seasonal variations, utility companies will still provide discounts when the demand for power is lower.
Set up the dishwasher to run a heavy load when you go to bed, and the cost per kilowatt maybe a third of what you’d pay if it ran during the day. You may also find that the AC is running heavily during the hottest part of the day.
Could you alter the thermal profile of your home so that it uses less energy while keeping you comfortable, such as not trying to keep the house at 65 when you’re at work? If you cannot get the house comfortable without the AC running full blast all the time, you may need to have the air conditioner repaired or replaced with a more powerful unit.
4. Check for Leaks
If you’ve ever heard the joke that you’re not heating the neighborhood, recognize that there is an element of truth to that joke. When you leave the door open while you’re bringing in groceries or getting the mail, you’re wasting the energy used to heat or cool that air. Gaps in your window frame and window stripping cost you the same way.
Leaks in your hot water heater waste both water and the energy used to heat it. Look for water leaks when you suspect them, too. Not only does this damage the structure of your home and wastewater, but damp insulation has a fraction of the thermal value of dry insulation. This is how a water leak could be contributing to your higher energy bills.
There are a number of things you can do to reduce your energy bills and water bills without radically changing your lifestyle. Then you’ll be able to save the Earth’s resources and money at the same time. It is truly a win-win for everyone.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.