Recycling Week: a follow-up post about batteries and electrical waste

As promised, a quick update on battery recycling. I used a handy battery recycling finder tool I found on the web, plugged in my postcode for battery recycling and there it was, Robert Dyas in Canary Wharf. Full of scepticism, with a heavy bag of 20 odd batteries, I set off: and there was a little box outside the shop, waiting for batteries to be recycled! I put them in and the job was done. There was even a Brita Water filter recycling box, as well. I was impressed that Robert Dyas are doing this (they also sell biodegradable picnicware, boys and girls, handy for the summer months and remarkably cheap) and can’t understand why more shops don’t. Yes, it’s extra admin and cost, but it can’t be much, and think of the goodwill they gain!

I’ve also tracked down about 5 more printer cartridges (I clearly had a large collection, this recycling business doesn’t half build up clutter) and sent them off to Comic Relief. With any luck, they’ll make another £2.50 for charity. I could also have swapped them for Nectar Points at Sainsbury’s, which is an option worth considering if you’re a coupon/points hunter.

While I’m being nerdy about recycling, I should point out I was in Muji today (another store that makes an effort to recycle, minimise packaging and use recycled resources) and noticed they will take your waste electrical items from you when you buy a new one as part of honouring the WEEE directives. Here’s what their website says: “Muji are offering free in store take back so you are able to take your items to our stores. You need not have purchased the equipment from one of our stores. If you are purchasing a product from our stores just bring your equivalent waste product with you when you come to purchase a new one….The products are sent to our recycling centre for processing”. I think this is an impressive policy and I hope many other stores will take it up and what is more, actively promote it.

And another general point on recycling: not everyone knows you can recycle clothes, ie the ones that are too tired/damaged to go to a charity shop. I recycled a whole bag (mainly children’s clothes) the other day and was thrilled to find the recycle point only a few minutes walk down the road. I also discovered my local Sainsbury’s will recycle CD’s and books, which is good news. All this does take some effort and research, but it is very rewarding when you manage to find a way to reuse something, instead of just dumping it in landfill. All in all, I enjoyed carrying out my Recycle Week pledge, have definitely got rid of some clutter and even raised money for charity ( if the Nokia is worth £30, I will have raised £40.50 by my calculation – not bad!). It’s been a useful exercise, and for someone who was (I thought) quite knowledgeable about recycling, I’ve learned some new things.

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