consumerism waste

Break up with your old appliances

Until very recently, we had a drawer in our house with three old mobile phones, and in this we are not alone. Almost half of us have a unused mobile  lying around somewhere, with or without its charger. A third of us have an unused camera, one in five has a computer they no longer use. 17% have a languishing sandwich maker, 12% a neglected coffee machine. We’re not very good at throwing away unwanted appliances.

This week there’s a bit of a drive to get those gadgets recycled. According to Recycyle Now, an old toaster can make 25 new tin cans. An iron can make 12, and many old appliances contain small quantities of more valuable metals like copper.

If you can’t bring yourself to get rid of your appliances, visit Recycle Now’s agony aunt, who will advise you in a personalised video.

The British Heart Foundation have also appealed for unwanted kettles and toasters to sell on through their second-hand stores. And if you got a new TV for the World Cup, they want your old one.”There’s a very high demand for small electrical products, and it’s always a challenge to ensure we have sufficient quantities of the right stock” says retail director Mike Lucas of the charity’s 96 furniture and electrical stores. “People seem to hang on to them.”

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