Material Focus allocates £1.8m through Electricals Recycling Fund

Non-profit Material Focus has made a grant allocation of £1.8 million to more than 40 projects across the UK. The funding is aimed at facilitating the recycling of electricals for 10 million residents.

Electricals Recycling FundResearch from Material Focus indicates that while 80 per cent of UK consumers understand the importance of recycling, and routinely recycle items like paper and plastic, there's a gap when it comes to electrical items. 39 per cent of people discard electricals in the bin, citing challenges in the recycling process. Countless electrical items, from gadgets to mere cables, are being hoarded in homes around the country.

The Electricals Recycling Fund's primary objective is to bridge this recycling gap. With an infusion of over £1.8 million, the UK will witness a surge in recycling amenities with over 400 new collection points and kerbside collections for 5.5 million residents. This expanded infrastructure will range from kerbside collections to drop-off points at schools, community centres, and on-street bring banks.

Several of the initiatives that have been awarded funding include:

  • Richmond Upon Thames and Wandsworth Councils: A kerbside collection service and bring banks will be introduced for half a million residents, streamlining the recycling of small waste electricals.
  • Library of Things: In Brighton and London, an online platform will soon allow 12,000+ users to engage with more eco-friendly alternatives to purchasing electrical items. This includes repair, reuse, and recycling services.
  • Solihull Council and Veolia: Over 215,000 residents in Solihull will soon have a bookable kerbside collection service for small electrical items disposal.
  • North Tyneside Council: 209,000 residents will benefit from 30 additional recycling points in schools and community centres.
  • North Kensington, West London: 4,000 residents will soon have access to new drop-off points, frequent collections, and electrical repair workshops.

Goal of Electricals Recycling Fund

"We are thrilled to support these innovative projects that address the pressing issue of e-waste,” said Scott Butler, Executive Director of Material Focus. "By investing in improved drop-off options services and exploring new ways of collecting electricals, we are taking a significant step towards creating a more sustainable future by making it easier for 10 million more people to recycle their electricals."

Councillor Ken Hawkins, Solihull Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructure, added: “It’s great that our residents will soon be able to get rid of their small electrical goods in a responsible and environmentally friendly way.

“Recycling and reusing materials is key to creating a circular economy where we reduce the need for ‘new’ resources by reusing old ones. I am sure our residents will appreciate this new service from Veolia, supported by Material Focus.”

Charlotte Thorpe, from Library of Things said: "In London and Brighton, more than 16,000 residents have already prevented over 150 tonnes of electrical waste from ending up in landfill by renting instead of buying occasional use household items. Some of our users are already active zero-waste champions – organising repair parties and swap shops, and telling neighbours about services and campaigns to reduce waste. We want to support more of this – becoming a platform for local people to organise around reuse and repair."

An additional round of funding is expected early next year. For more details on the Electricals Recycling Fund, interested parties can reach out to [email protected].

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