Electrical items

Includes: Alarm clocks; CD/DVD/Cassette players and game consoles; small kitchen appliances such as kettles, toasters, food mixers and blenders, microwave ovens; personal grooming products like hairdryers, straighteners, curling tongs, electric toothbrushes and shavers; garden tools such as lawnmowers, hedge trimmers and leaf blowers/shredders; other items such as lamps, torches, vacuum cleaners, telephones, mobiles, radios, TV’s, printers, camcorders and smoke alarms.  For larger electrical items like fridges, freezers and washing machines – see White Goods.

Where can I recycle?

If you have an electrical item that is still in good working condition, consider the following options:

Pass them on…

Charity and re-use organisations

  • Electrical items can be donated to some charity shops or furniture re-use organisations – many offer collection services;
  • Check to see if your council offers a service for re-use.


  • Pass on items for free at places such as Freecycle and Freegle;
  • Search online for companies that will exchange old electrical items for cash;
  • Or sell them on websites like eBay, Gumtree and Preloved.

Friends, family and local events

  • Ask family and friends if they would like your unwanted electricals – it could be just what they are looking for…
  • Look out for local swapping events – you might even bag yourself a bargain in return!
  • Sell locally at car boot, nearly new and bring and buy sales;
  • Put an ad in your local newspaper or shop window.

On the high street

  • Some shops such as Cash Converters and CeX buy electrical or electronic items, especially if you have the original box and instructions etc.

If the item is broken, can it be repaired?

  • A simple repair could give an item a new lease of life and save you money too – especially on those more expensive electrical items.
  • Check online for advice on how to make repairs yourself or to check whether it might be a simple and cheap repair for an expert to do. For example, www.espares.co.uk and www.ifixit.com offer free information for repairing a range of electrical items.

How do I recycle it?

It’s easy to check if an electrical item, toy or game is recyclable.  Simply ask the following questions:

  • Does it have a plug?
  • Does it use batteries?
  • Does it need charging?
  • Does it have a picture of a crossed out wheelie bin on it?

If you answer yes to any of these, it can be recycled.

  • Check to see if your council offers a household recycling collection for small electricals;
  • If not, take them to your local recycling centre;
  • Often shops will collect your unwanted electricals when they deliver your new one – especially larger items like TV’s, fridges and freezers (please note that retailers may charge to collect your old electricals) Visit our Bank Locator to find your nearest recycling centre.

Related content Did you know…?

According to official Environment Agency data, the UK recycled only a third of the weight of electrical products that it purchased last year.