New recycling projects in Woodbridge and Saxmundham are hailed a success

Carol Poulter, right, cabinet member for the green environment at Suffolk Coastal, has spoken of the

Carol Poulter, right, cabinet member for the green environment at Suffolk Coastal, has spoken of the success of a trial to encourage people to recycle more small electrical appliances - Credit: Archant

New recycling banks being trialled at two locations in Suffolk Coastal have already diverted two tonnes of small electrical appliances away from landfill.

The special recycling banks for small WEEE (small waste electronic and electrical equipment) have been in place at the community recycling points at the Market Place car park in Saxmundham, and behind the Deben Pool swimming pool in Station Road, Woodbridge.

The facilities enable residents to deposit waste items such as hairdryers, kettles, toasters, electric clocks, irons, food mixers, DVD players, radios and small electrical hand tools, and are serviced by the district council’s operational partner Suffolk Coastal Norse.

Carol Poulter, cabinet member for the green environment, said the trial had so far diverted around two tonnes, comprising an estimated 1,500 small domestic appliances destined for recycling, which might otherwise have gone to waste.

She said: “We hope the recycling points encourage more people to recycle their electrical items as they make it more convenient for local residents to recycle small electrical and electronic items in the correct way.

“The recovery of the potentially hazardous but valuable components that these electronic items contain is an added bonus of this recycling initiative which will help protect the local and global environments for future generations to come.

“Of course, if your unwanted electrical or electronic items are in good condition and full working order, consider offering them for reuse via local charity shops or an online reuse network, and help keep them out of the waste stream in the first place.”

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Households in the UK have an average of 25 electrical and electronic items and, currently, only 10% of them end up being recycled when they reach the end of their useful life.

These items should not be placed in any of the wheeled bins that residents have at home, as they contain a mixture of materials, including metals that can be harmful if not disposed of correctly, but which are valuable if recycled properly.

Electrical items are one of the common contaminants found in the blue-lidded recycling wheeled bins, causing problems at the recycling sorting facility at Great Blakenham. The items also cause problems when they are placed in the grey-lidded residual bins, as the hazardous materials affect the quality of the ash residue which is a product of the incineration process at the Energy from Waste Plant.