Electrical recycling fund launches to tackle growing e-waste challenge

Energy & Efficiency

Material Focus, the not-for-profit Recycle Your Electricals campaign for the UK, is launching a new £2.5 million funding opportunity to make it easier for UK households to recycle their electricals.

Material Focus’ “Electricals Recycling Fund” will fund two types of projects – those seeking to add household electricals collection services using existing infrastructure, and those seeking to innovate new methods for recycling small household electricals.

Waste electricals are the fastest growing waste stream in the world, and in the UK we are hoarding 527 million electrical items and throwing away 155,000 tonnes per year. Waste electricals contain some of the most precious materials on our planet including gold, silver, aluminium, and copper.

The “Electricals Recycling Fund” provides an opportunity to offer collections of electricals to millions more households and to test creative, practical and scalable new methods for collecting electricals that could produce significant environmental benefits in the future.

Says Scott Butler, Executive Director of Material Focus:

“This fund provides an exciting opportunity to make it easier for millions more people to recycle their electricals from their doorsteps and to test innovative ways to tackle one of the fastest growing waste streams in the UK and globally.  We are really looking forward to working with a range of organisations on finding some interesting and innovative solutions that will increase recycling electricals in the UK.”

Material Focus is seeking applicants from a range of organisations including: local authorities, waste collection authority areas, waste contractors, reuse organisations, non-profits, producer compliance schemes, retailers, and startups. Expressions of interest need to be in by 31st January with a view to projects being ready to implement during 2023.  

Material Focus research found that 80% of people think recycling their electricals is the right thing to do – but only 45% of people think it’s easy.  The current system offers inconsistent collection methods for electricals across the country.

Approximately 15% households have kerbside collections while others can drop their electricals off at local authority points. Some retailers will take anything back without a need for purchase, while other retailers will only take back electricals with the purchase of a similar product. If it is difficult and confusing for householders then electricals will continue to be binned, claims Material Focus.

For more information on the fund and how to apply visit https://www.materialfocus.org.uk/partnerships-with-material-focus/electricals-recycling-fund/   



Chris Price
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