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£2.5 million fund launched to encourage better e-waste collection

Staff Reporter
December 7, 2022

Funds will be offered to organisations that can show innovative ways to improve e-waste collections and recycling

Non-profit organisation Material Focus is launching a £2.5 million fund to make it easier for people to recycle their unused electrical products. The “Electricals Recycling Fund” will fund projects for companies adding household e-waste collection services using their existing infrastructure and innovations for new methods for collecting small household electonic devices.

Applicants are invited to apply for funding by January 31 Eligible organisations including: local authorities, waste collection authority areas, waste contractors, reuse organisations, non-profits, producer compliance schemes, retailers, and startups Individuals are not eligible.

Material Focus claims old electrical products are the fastest growing waste stream in the world with the UK population hoarding 527 million of electrical items, and throwing 155,000 tonnes a year.

They contain some of the most precious materials on our planet including gold, silver, aluminium, and copper. The “Electricals Recycling Fund” provides an exciting opportunity to offer collections to millions more households and to test creative, practical and scalable new methods for collecting electricals that could produce significant environmental benefits in the future” said material focus executive director Scott Butler.

This fund makes it easier for millions more people to recycle and to test innovative ways to tackle one of the fastest-growing waste streams in the UK and globally. We look forward to finding innovative solutions to increase the recycling in the UK.”

Material Focus found that 80 per cent of people think recycling their electricals is the right thing to do but only 45 per cent of people think it’s easy.

The current system offers inconsistent collection methods across the country. Approximately 15 per cent households have kerbside collections while others can drop  off at local authority  points. Some retailers will take anything back without a need for purchase. Other retailers will only take back with a purchase of a similar product. If it is difficult and confusing for householders then electricals will continue to be binned. Material Focus’ Electrical Recycling Fund aims to make it more convenient for many more householders to recycle properly and help create ongoing habits to do the same”, said Butler

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