Highland residents can help the environment and vulnerable members of their local community by donating their old small electricals

ILM Highland & Material Focus Recycling Partnership Press Release

One of the new Small Electrical Waste containers
From left to right: Jonathon Merriman, Store Manager, Tesco Dingwall and Martin Macleod, CEO, ILM Highland.

16th November 2020

New electrical waste collection containers in Highland will aim to collect 24,000 unwanted small electrical items providing 1,200 of refurbished affordable electricals for local residents.

Householders in Highland will be able to easily declutter their unwanted small electricals via a new service providing 10 new collection containers funded by Material Focus to support ILM Highland and help save the environment. ILM Highland has been operating across Highland for over 26 years, providing Electrical Waste Recycling and Reuse services, refurbished retail and funded home improvement support for the vulnerable.

The service aims to collect 24,000 unwanted electricals of which 1,200 will be refurbished and sold at affordable prices to local residents. The project will help to reduce electrical waste, boost the local economy by providing a new dedicated Recycling Operative job and help combat climate change by saving 6,888 kg CO2 too.

Recent research, by the new not for profit Material Focus, has found that UK householders are hoarding 527 million small electrical items, an average of nearly 20 per household. And the problem is set to get worse as waste electricals are one of the fastest-growing waste streams in the world and the UK. Instead, the majority of electricals can either be re-used or the materials contained in them recycled by being turned into anything from life-saving equipment to children’s playgrounds.*

In a concerted effort to tackle this growing challenge, Material Focus have funded ILM Highland to set up the new collection scheme, as part of the, as part of the Recycle Your Electricals Campaign. The scheme will collect all items of small electrical waste including kettles, toasters, phones, techno gadgets, electrical toys, hair dryers, DIY power tools, electrical garden equipment – anything small with a plug, battery, or cable can be reused or recycled. The new Small Electrical Waste containers are to be sited in 10 key locations to encourage greater responsible disposal of small electrical waste instead of discarding these items in the green bin. The new container locations currently include Fortrose, Muir of Ord, Conon Bridge, Dingwall, Alness, Invergordon, Bonar Bridge and Dornoch.

“We were keen to get behind the Recycle Your Electricals campaign and make it easier for Highland residents to de-clutter, donate to a local good cause and do their bit to save the planet. It’s estimated that every household in the UK has around £620 worth of electronics sitting unused. These could provide a lifeline for someone unable to buy new, and for those who are looking to buy second hand to protect our environment. Even broken items can be utilised in unexpected ways, with components being recycled in various ways.”

Martin Macleod, Chief Executive Officer at ILM Highland

“This project is vital to ensuring that we make good use of our old electricals. Whether they are re-used or recycled – these items contain valuable materials that will otherwise be lost forever. Our research has shown that in the UK we are hoarding over 527 million small electrical items, an average of 20 per household, which is why we have recently launched our Recycle Your Electricals campaign. We are delighted to be working with ILM Highland, who is one of a number of new re-use projects that we are funding in the UK. So whether you are at home or work, please hunt out your old electricals and donate them to benefit your community.”

Scott Butler, Executive Director of Material Focus

The scheme will ensure that all items are safe, with ILM Highland securely collecting discarded small electrical waste items from the containers, cleaning and testing equipment before making it available in their shop for locals to purchase. Householders can be completely reassured that all data-bearing devices will be securely wiped by ILM Highland – who offer a complete and secure hard drive data destruction service. Other electrical goods not suitable for reuse will be recycled. The profits from the sale of the refurbished electricals will support the provision of ILM’s Handyperson and Home Improvement services to the elderly and disabled including veterans across the Ross-shire and Sutherland community.

ILM Highland is a Social Enterprise company and delivers a range of services which has a big social impact on communities across the Highlands of Scotland. ILM provides a professional and fully certified route for businesses to dispose of their WEEE (waste electronic & electrical equipment) in a safe, environmentally conscious and legally compliant way.

Furthermore, ILM provides a Care & Repair service which is a partnership between ILM and the Highland Council and is in place to provide free information & advice to homeowners and private tenants aged over 65, or of any age with a disability, who need repairs, improvements or adaptations to their homes across Ross-shire & Sutherland. In addition, ILM can arrange a ‘Handyperson’ service which again is a partnership between ILM, the Highland Council, NHS Highland and Unforgotten Forces. This service is aimed at the elderly and disabled, and assists with minor repairs and adaptations around the home.

ILM has a retail outlet selling a wide selection of new and refurbished electrical appliances which can be bought and taken away the same day.

For more information on ILM Highland: www.ilmhighland.co.uk/

Material Focus (formerly the WEEE Fund), is a not-for-profit organisation whose goal is to stop the nation throwing away or hoarding all their old small electricals. It has launched the new UK-wide Recycle Your Electricals campaign. The campaign is revealing the value hidden in electricals and is making it easier for us all to recycle and reuse the small electricals we no longer need by providing more recycling points as well as providing practical information on how households can recycle.

The campaign is funded by producers of electrical appliances. The UK government sets annual targets for the recycling of all waste electricals, including small electricals. If producers of electrical appliances don’t meet this target, then they contribute towards a fund. Since 2017 over £15 million has been raised, which pays for a range of activities, including communications, behaviour change activities, increasing recycling collection points and options and technical research. Ultimately the aim is to support actions that will help the UK increase the levels of reuse and recycling of waste electricals.

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