Wednesday, 15 May 2024

The value of unwanted electricals – can we ‘mine’ our drawers, not our planet.

Material Focus has recently released new research on electrical waste in the UK and has concluded that nearly £1 billion worth of precious materials could be saved if all our electricals were recycled. The CO2 savings could be huge, as 7.98 million tonnes of CO2 could be saved. This is equivalent to 3.84 million cars being taken off the road per annum if those electricals that are currently thrown away, held onto, stolen or illegally exported were recycled. You can read more on their research and statistics here.  

There are so many precious metals and minerals in electrical products, especially smart tech and the mining of these minerals have significant environmental and social impacts. So is it time to look closer to home when mining? Could we all clear out our drawers of unwanted electronics and tech and share, reuse, repair, redistribute and then finally recycle items at the end of their lives as a way to put these precious metals to good use.  

Our amazing repair groups throughout the county help people to keep items in use for as long as possible with their excellent repair skills and advice.  We also have brilliant libraries of things, share shops and swap shops available to us. Organisations such as Donate IT help redistribute Smart tech to those who need it most and Fixy is out and about promoting all these groups, local recycling options and helping to collect Smart tech from across the county.  

It is so heart-warming the amount of community action happening across Somerset to address the E-waste problem. Both directly and indirectly, we have very real solutions and options within our communities for dealing with this waste. Here at CAG Somerset, we are excited to see how these community groups, councils and organisations can continue to collaborate to further reduce the amount of E-Waste being generated in our county.  

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We support and help community action groups who focus on re-use, repair, reduction, sharing, surplus food or composting.

A picture of a community allotment. wooden planters are in neat rows with small paths between them. Within the planters are different green leafy plants of varying heights. In some planters are canes growing peas. All plants appear to be seasonal summer vegetables. To the back right of the image are some sheds and the community allotment continues right through the image