What is electrical equipment made from?

Electrical equipment like fridges, kettles and toasters are a mixture of glass, plastic and metal and can include valuable metals like gold and platinum. This makes recycling electricals complicated because these materials need to be separated. Nowadays more electrical equipment is reused or recycled so your old fridge could be recycled into a new washing machine.

What are the benefits of recycling electrical equipment?

  • Preventing pollution – electrical equipment can contain lots of hazardous chemicals and metals. If they are not disposed of properly they could escape into our natural environment, harming humans and wildlife.
  • Using less resources – we use a lot of energy to extract valuable natural resources to make electrical equipment. Burying them in a landfill site or burning them in an energy from waste plant means the materials can not be used again and are lost for ever.

Wow fact: We buy over one million tonnes of electrical equipment every year and throw away about the same amount.

How is electrical equipment recycled?

  • People take their unwanted electrical equipment to a recycling centre.
  • From here it will go to a recycling plant where it is separated into TV’s, Fridges and smaller electrical appliances.
  • The hazardous materials are extracted.
  • Then the equipment is smashed up into tiny pieces to make it easier to sort into different types of material.
  • Once sorted the different materials get sent to companies that need those resources ready to be used again.

Where can you recycle electrical equipment?

In Devon, Torridge is the only area that can collect small electricals from your recycling bin. Teignbridge and West Devon collect mobile phones. However, there are recycling centres you can take your electrical equipment to. To find out more about what you can recycle and where it is recycled in your area click here.


Click here to find out more about our waste electrical wheels workshop.