Electrical Waste Collection Strategies in the UK

When disposing of small electrical items from the home, most householders only have the option of visiting their local recycling facility to drop them off. However, in order to meet recycling targets, local authorities in the UK are now considering kerbside (or curbside) collections of small domestic appliances. This is expected to help prevent small electrical items being placed into the general waste/refuse containers from households.

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This waste stream has become a priority as figures show that the average amount of WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment) recycled per person is only 1.3kg. The original WEEE directive targeted 4kg per person, as a recycling rate, so there is a considerable shortfall. It is important that householders find it easy to recycle their items in order to increase the rates.

Initial trials have taken place to assess the viability of these kerbside collections and the following conclusions were made:

  • On collections, small electrical items were often damaged, so the reuse of items was less likely.
  • Levels of recycling were encouraging at 140 grams per household.
  • The monetary value of the separated materials of the small items showed that a positive net value could be achieved.

Whilst the potential reuse of small electrical items was reduced it was a positive that local authorities could generate revenues from the collections. Quarterly or bi-annual collection frequencies would ensure volumes of equipment on the collections were maximised. Due to the success of the trials, the UK is likely to see more and more local authorities adopt some form of collection schedule for small electrical waste items.

An old refrigerator uses almost four times the electricity of a new one

Larger electrical items such as washing machines and fridge freezers pose a different collection issue. Some local authorities offer a collection service for bulky electrical items, however due to their size, weight and manpower requirements there is often a charge. As with smaller electrical items, you can deliver these to the local recycling facility, but you may not be able to fit these into your own vehicle. It is best to check with the local recycling facility on the options available and possibly even if they allow large, commercial sized vehicles onto site.

The collection of electrical wastes from households in the UK will ultimately increase the amount of electrical waste being recycled in the UK. It will also further promote the recycling of such items instead of placing them into general waste containers. Going forward it is hoped that more local authorities will adopt a collection schedule even if only bi-annually from their local householders.

Top 5 Reasons Why Your Power Bill is Skyrocketing

Working from home does have its perks, but one huge downside is dealing with energy bills that are higher than usual. However, the fact that you’re spending most of your time at home shouldn’t be a reason to simply accept skyrocketing energy bills. There might be a couple of ways you can still bring those monthly charges down despite your high consumption while working from home.

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Here are the top reasons why power bills spike and what you can do to mitigate the situation.

1. Failure to upgrade appliances

Most new appliances have been equipped with energy-efficient and power-saving features. Old appliances were not required to have these features, which is why ‘vampire charges’ were such a big deal in the past. Once you upgrade to newer appliances, you’ll find that you won’t even have to religiously unplug your devices since they stop consuming substantial electricity once they’re turned off.

Furthermore, old, rickety appliances lose efficiency as they degrade, so they might be consuming more power to do simple, everyday tasks. You might think you’re saving money by sticking to appliances that are decades-old, but you will undoubtedly feel an improvement in your power bills once you make the shift.

2. Overusing ‘big’ appliances

Even with new appliances, frequent usage is still a major problem. This is especially true for power-hogging devices such as your washing machine or dishwasher. The best strategy is to wait until you have enough laundry or dirty dishes to run your machines at full-load or capacity.

This will lessen the frequency with which you run these major power-hugging appliances, therefore reducing your overall power consumption in the long run. If there is an urgent need to free up some clean dishes or clothes, handwashing them is a better alternative than running the washer just for a few items.

3. Late detection of leaky ducts

Poorly sealed or weakly insulated ducts can add thousands of dollars to your yearly power bills. This is because they release hot air into unheated spaces in your home. Make sure you are not spending more than necessary for your home’s heating or cooling systems by maintaining vents and ducts.

Aside from sealing or insulating ducts, you also have to ensure that your airflow is not restricted by furniture and other large objects. Keeping registers clean can also help optimize ducts, therefore helping with the power bills.

4. Higher rates

If you live in an area where electricity markets have been deregulated, like in Connecticut, then know that you have a choice regarding your third party power supplier. Now, unless you’re closely watching spot market news, you might not have noticed that your energy provider has been secretly hiking rates.

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To take better control of your power bills, compare the rates charged by power suppliers in your area, then change electricity providers so that you will get the most value for your money.

5. Not exploring cheaper power sources

If you’re already subscribed to the cheapest energy provider in your area but are still struggling with power bills, then you might want to check alternative power sources like installing solar panels or keeping solar batteries at home.

Now, unless you have an industrial-level solar energy system, it’s highly unlikely that you can cover all your power needs using PV panels, but this would at least reduce your dependence on provider-supplied electricity, thus substantially reducing your power bills.

Wrapping Up

Of course, there are several other tips and tricks that could chip away at your huge power bills like replacing your lights with LED bulbs and setting a timer on your A/C, but if you really want a substantial reduction in what you’re paying for energy, you have to make big changes around the house, such as the ones mentioned and discussed in this article.

As more and more companies mull letting employees work from home permanently, you must be able to do so without forever stressing about those monthly power charges.

Making Your Home More Green in 2020

Several years ago and nobody had quite caught onto the phenomenon. Now, climate change is completely real – and everyone is attempting to take responsibility for their own impact on the world.

Home-occupiers certainly don’t fall outside of this category and there are umpteen ways in which you can make your home greener if you put your mind to it. Let’s not forget that this doesn’t just benefit the environment, but it should also have a healthy impact on your back pocket as well. Bearing this in mind, let’s now take a look at some of the easiest ways to make your home green in 2020.

Plan your renovations accordingly

If the media are to be believed, we’re in the era of renovations. In other words, homeowners are preferring to stay hold of their home and improve or remodel it, rather than move somewhere else.

However, there are good and bad renovations when it comes to staying green. We’re not talking yet about doing the right amount of planning and if you will consider storing your belongings, but other practical issues.

For the purposes of an example, let’s look into the notion of open plan living and being aware that this is going to have significant heating ramifications. This is something that a lot of people forget, and they find that their radiators are working overtime in a bid to heat their new space.

Always dry line your clothes

Sometimes, the best new technology isn’t actually that beneficial for the environment. This is certainly the case when it comes to drying your clothes.

For example, while great strides have been made with washing machines and energy efficiency, the same can’t be said for dryers. They can use five times more electricity, and little else needs to be said on the matter.

Instead, line-dry your clothes, and the benefits are there for all to see.

Make the most of the rain

Next, it’s onto the garden. This is something that is often not thought of when it comes to sustainability, but particularly if you are based in a country where it rains frequently you can make a difference. Rainwater collection tanks might not be overly fashionable, but they can collect enough water over time which can allow you to maintain your garden without tapping into the mains water supply.

A lot of the modern options allow you to hook the tank up to your guttering system as well, meaning that it becomes all-too easy to collect any water that accumulates around your property’s roof.

Use your kitchen intelligently

How many times have you left the fridge door open as you venture across the room to grab another ingredient? Or, how about leaving the oven door open for similar reasons?

Put simply, this is resulting in a lot of lost energy. It might be small at the time, but it does build up and it can result in your home becoming a lot less green than it really should be.