Nearly eight tonnes collected in ‘e-waste amnesty’

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A one-day electrical goods amnesty in Milton Keynes saw hundreds of our unwanted fridges, toasters, TVs and radios safely disposed of last week.

The recycling event gave all residents, businesses and organisations a seven and a half hour window to ditch any broken or unwanted piece of electronics at The National Bowl’s north car park.

In total an astonishing 7.8 tonnes of ‘e-waste’ was taken to be recycled.

Staff were on hand to help with any heavy items as some turned up with a car boot full of goods and others wandered over with little more than a mobile phone.

The event was organised by the European Recycling Platform, supported by the council and the MK Chamber of Commerce as part of a big drive to increase the amount of electronic waste recycled.

Electronic waste is still the fastest growing waste stream in the UK. Almost 1.5 million tonnes of electronic goods were sold in 2012, but only one third of items are being recycled.

The materials used to make electronic goods are valuable and can be used to make new products. Recycling protects the environment and prevents e-waste going to landfill.

David Hopkins, the cabinet member responsible for recycling in Milton Keynes, said: “The take up at this event was terrific and clearly demonstrates that if you can offer this kind of facility – or ‘amnesty’ – making it very easy for people to recycle their items, such as old computers, then they will respond.

“Just looking at the sheer volume of items is food for thought enough, but this is even more significant when you think that these items could have so easily ended up in landfill.”

The electronic waste collected included everything from keyboards to kettles and torches to toasters.

Nationwide Metal Recycling Ltd provided the logistics for the event, supporting the public by unloading equipment from vehicles.

All items will be treated in the UK to recover the metals and plastics which they contain, and the recovered materials will be sent on to manufacturers and used to make new products.