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E-Waste – The Problem That Isn’t Going Away

Taken as a whole, the UK does a much better job of waste handling than it used to. In 2018 the UK generated 222.2m tonnes of waste. Of that, nearly half was recycled or recovered and 22.8% sent to landfill.

Much still needs to be done. Nearly 23% of waste going to landfill is still way too high.

The other huge and growing problem is e-waste. The Government Environment Audit Committee reported in 2020 that the average UK household has 20 unused electronic items waiting to be disposed of. This doesn’t take into account an unknown number of electronic items that sadly end up in general waste.

Disposable vapes are a growing part of the e-waste problem, which is why their sale is in the process of being banned.

Why Does E-Waste Matter?

Electronic waste contains potentially harmful substances that can seep into the environment. There’s also gold in that mountain of e-waste, plus many other valuable and rare materials. These are too valuable to be simply dumped.

The Audit Committee expressed frustration with the snail-like progress of bringing new e-waste regulations into force. The Government is consulting on measures including making producers responsible for collecting and processing electrical goods when they reach end-of-life.

Potential new regulations would also mean online sellers and retailers having to offer a free collection-on-delivery service for bulky domestic electronics.

But there’s no clear timetable for implementation and probably a general election to be held in the meantime.

Handling E-Waste – The Alternatives

A lot of e-waste isn’t strictly waste. It includes functioning items that could be traded or donated to charity shops. Sometimes faulty electronic items can be repaired to have a new lease of life. There’s probably a repair cafe or workshop somewhere near you.

There are also environmentally responsible options for disposal. Local recycling centres will usually accept unwanted appliances, batteries and other e-waste items, so there’s really no reason for anyone to put electrical and electronic items in their general waste.

Here at Wellington Waste, we also have established and reliable processes for separating and handling e-waste. Let’s work together to protect our planet and responsibly dispose of our electrical waste.

Plan your visit today:  Taunton Skip Hire | Waste Collection & Recycling | Wellington Waste

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