How to Recycle Metals at Home
It’s a good idea to look in your recycling bin and work out what kinds of metals you use at home.
Examples will be: cans and tins, pots and pans, jewellery. There are metals present in electrical equipment and cables, and computers and mobile phones.
For more information on what you can recycle, search on the Recycle Devon A-Z of recycling list.
Cans – You can recycle aluminium cans in your household collection; please squash them as much as possible first. You can also take them to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre.
Foil – Some district councils can collect aluminium foil in their household collections. Please click here for more information on what your district council collects. Alternatively, you can take foil to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre.
Trays – Some district councils can collect aluminium trays in their household collection. Please click here for more information on what your district council collects. Alternatively, you can take aluminium trays to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre.
Household appliances – Before throwing away your your appliances, see if you can repair or recycle them. Find our guide here: Furniture and Electrical Waste – Recycle Devon
Kitchenware – If the saucepans are in a reusable condition, consider donating them to a local charity shop. Alternatively, your local Household Waste Recycling Centre will accept them for metal recycling.
Tools – If you are replacing your tools contact your local DIY/hardware shop for help/advice. Ensure that all working tools are reused by giving them away or advertising them on sites such as Gumtree, Preloved, Freegle and Freecycle.
Utensils – Utensils and cutlery is not generally collected as part of your recycling collection, however some local councils may differ. Steel cutlery can be taken to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre. Old cutlery can be donated to a charity shop if it’s in good condition or sold online. For items such as knives why not purchase a sharpener to prolong the life.
Food cans – You can recycle cans in your household collection, please squash them as much as possible first. Please click here for more information on what your district council collects. You can also take them to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre.
Saucepans – If the saucepans are in a reusable condition, consider donating them to a local charity shop. Alternatively, your local Household Waste Recycling Centre will accept them for metal recycling.
Coins – Coins are not currently recycled. You can usually take old coins back to the bank or Post Office in exchange for the value. However, if policies may not always allow for this depending on the coins or currency. Alternatives include selling them as a collector’s item if they have some value or giving them to charity.
Mobile phones – Avoid upgrading your mobile every year, and try selling or donating old phones and technology. Find some more tips here. Alternatively, mobile phones can be taken to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre and will go into the electrical container.
Jewellery and watches – Jewellery and watches are accepted by many charities. Alternatively, there are on-line organisations like Recycling for Good Causes that accept jewellery and watches, regardless of condition, for re-sale/recycling to raise funds for charities. Finally, if they are in good condition, you could sell the online or give them to family and friends.
Rare Earth Elements
Computers, cameras and other electrical equipment –
If your electrical item is broken, but repairable, contact your nearest Repair Café to help. Otherwise, household electrical items can be taken to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre. Some councils may collect small electricals via their kerbside collections – check if you council collects here. Many electrical retailers also offer a take back service when purchasing a new item – please ask instore. Please ensure any personal information is deleted prior to recycling – find out how to delete data here.
Cars – Sell and repair cars before discarding of them. Car batteries can be taken to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre.
How to Recycle Metals at School
It might be a good idea to rethink the school’s metal resource use – many schools will be doing this already, as saving resources usually saves money! Audit the types of metals you use and how much you buy each week. Are there ways to reduce the metal resource use in school? This could be done with an Eco Committee.
- Repair, recycle or donate old computers, laptops, iPads, photocopiers and other electronic devices Recycle Your Electricals – Recycle Devon
- Discuss with kitchen staff members about types of metal waste produced and how we can work to reduce them.
This could include washing and recycling aluminium foil, choosing larger cans of food rather than smaller ones, or even growing your own vegetables to reduce packaging overall.
Many local authorities offer their own recycling services to schools.