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Where to find the new small electricals recycling banks in Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire - and what can go in them

Recycling small electricals like toasters, phones and hairdryers is now easier for Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire residents after local councils installed more drop-off points.

Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service, a partnership between Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council, has placed eight new collection banks for small electrical items at recycling points around the two areas, with more locations planned.

A small electricals recycling bank. Picture: South Cambridgeshire District Council
A small electricals recycling bank. Picture: South Cambridgeshire District Council

Small old electrical items are one of the fastest-growing waste streams in the UK. According to the Recycle Your Electricals campaign, the number of old cables alone that remain in UK households (140 million) is enough to circle the Earth more than five times.

In the Greater Cambridge area, figures from the RECAP waste partnership show that an average of 450 tonnes of small electrical equipment is disposed of in black bins every year, ending up in landfill where it will never break down and harms the environment.

Cambridge City Council’s executive councillor for environment, climate change and biodiversity, Cllr Rosy Moore, said: “We’re keen for residents to donate unwanted items to suitable charities and look for repair options for their broken appliances wherever possible – our excellent local volunteer repair café network is one way to do this.

“But there will always be some electrical items that are too old or cannot be repaired, and it’s very important that these are not binned with household rubbish, or even recycling. They contain precious materials like gold, aluminium and steel which are needed for making new items, and they have to be recycled separately which is why we are working hard to make it as easy and accessible as possible for residents to recycle them.”

South Cambridgeshire District Council’s lead cabinet member for environment, Cllr Brian Milnes (Lib Dem, Sawston), said: “Through our shared waste service, this is another example of how we are working to make it easier and more convenient for our residents to do their bit for the environment.

“Anything with a plug, battery or cable is an electrical item and can be recycled. Gather your old or broken small electricals and take them to one of the new recycling banks – anything up to 29cm in its largest dimension will fit. Larger items can be taken to the household recycling centres near Milton or Thriplow.”

The new recycling banks for small electricals are in the following places:

  • Gwydir Street car park, Cambridge,
  • Lammas Land car park, Cambridge,
  • Abbey Pool car park, Cambridge,
  • Chesterton Road public toilets, Cambridge,
  • Morrisons car park, Cambourne,
  • Tesco car park, Bar Hill,
  • Village car park, High Street, Melbourn
  • Tesco car park, Fulbourn.

There are also existing banks at Glebe Farm Drive, Fawcett Road and Hawkey Road in Cambridge, as well as Milton and Thriplow household recycling centres. Small appliances can also be handed in for recycling in-store at Curry’s on Newmarket Road in Cambridge.

The banks can take:

  • electronic toys
  • kettles
  • toasters
  • shavers
  • small power tools
  • radios
  • any small items that plug in or take a battery

But they cannot be used for light bulbs, smoke detectors, e-cigarettes, batteries (except those which cannot be removed), anything that is not electrical, or anything too large to fit in the bank - those items should be taken to a household waste recycling centre.

Find out more about how to re-use, repair and recycle your electricals at recycleyourelectricals.org.uk.

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