Recycle your unwanted small electrical items & batteries


Unwanted small electrical items are one of the fastest growing waste streams in the UK.

In a concerted effort to tackle this growing challenge, councils in East Sussex have joined force with the not-for-profit organisation Material Focus, as part of the Recycle Your Electricals campaign.

The majority of small electricals items can either be reused or the materials contained in them recycled and turned into anything from life-saving equipment to children’s playgrounds.

You can put small electric items out with your wheelie bin for kerbside collection service.

This will mean more of the 850 tonnes of small electrical goods in the Hastings, Rother and Wealden areas which end up in the rubbish bin every year will be successfully recycled or reused.

Anything with a plug or cable or that is battery operated such as irons, toasters, radios, hairdryers and phones can be recycled from the kerbside.

Recycle your Electrical Campaign

Residents should put their small electrical items into a plastic carrier bag and place this on top of their rubbish or recycling bin on their collection day; batteries should be removed and put in a separate bag for collection.

Cllr Claire Dowling, East Sussex County Council lead member for transport and environment and chair of the Joint Waste Collection Partnership, said:

I am delighted the residents of Hastings, Rother and Wealden are benefitting from the small electrical items kerbside collection service, which offers an easy solution to the ever-growing problem of what to do with these items.

Local residents in these areas are recycling over a tonne of small electrical items through their rubbish and recycling collections each month. That’s the equivalent of 7,500 irons each year!

We are keen to get behind the Recycle Your Electricals campaign and are grateful that Material Focus have funded this scheme, which makes it simple for residents to de-clutter and recycle their electricals while doing their bit to help save the planet.

Cllr Claire Dowling

Small electrical items that can be recycled via the kerbside collection service include:

  • Smartphones, smart watches and charging cables
  • Kettles, toasters, blenders, irons and other small kitchen appliances
  • Electric shavers, electric toothbrushes and hair dryers
  • Laptops, tablets and small games consoles
  • Small speakers and remote controls
  • Electronic tools
  • Toys
  • Sports equipment


People who have unwanted small electrical items that are still in working order may wish to consider donating them to an appropriate charitable organisation instead of putting them out for recycling.

People are reminded not to put electrical items or batteries into their recycling or rubbish bins.

The small electrical recycling service is receiving support and funding from Material Focus to help raise awareness of the kerbside collections through new website information and leaflets which have already been distributed to households in Hastings, Rother and Wealden.

Scott Butler, Executive Director of Material Focus said:

This project is vital to ensuring that we make good use of our old small electricals. Whether they are re-used or recycled, these items contain valuable materials that will otherwise be lost forever.

Our research has shown that in the UK we are hoarding over 527 million small electrical items, an average of 20 per household, which is why we have recently launched our Recycle Your Electricals campaign.

We are delighted to be working with the East Sussex Joint Waste Collection Partnership, who are one of a number of new recycling projects that we are funding in the UK. So whether you are at home or work, please hunt out your old small electricals and recycle them to benefit the environment.

Scott Butler, Executive Director of Material Focus

Larger electrical items can be taken to the county’s household waste and recycling centres, like the one on Farningham Road in Crowborough, or residents can book a bulky collection by contacting Wealden District Council.

Material Focus (formerly the WEEE Fund), is a not-for-profit organisation whose goal is to stop the nation throwing away or hoarding all their old small electricals. The Recycle Your Electricals campaign is revealing the value hidden in electricals and is making it easier for us all to recycle and reuse the small electricals we no longer need by providing more recycling points as well as providing practical information on how households can recycle.



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