Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council
Helping Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council to prevent small WEEE and waste batteries from ending up in recycling and residual waste streams.
Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council were looking for ways to prevent small waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and waste batteries from ending up in recycling and residual waste streams.
The Borough experienced six fires and several near misses within 2 years all of which were attributed to the incorrect disposal of small WEEE and waste batteries. All such incidents are significant and the Borough has been fortunate enough to have avoided the loss or damage to its plant and risk to lives. The loss of one refuse vehicle would cost the taxpayer over £170,000 to replace.
To help prevent more serious incidents from occurring, the Council installed 17 small WEEE collection containers (like clothing banks) around the borough, which were donated by Valpak free of charge. Valpak also added the WEEE collection sites to its online recycle-more Bank Locator, a search facility which enables users to find their nearest recycling sites by typing in postcodes. The sites can be found under the “small household appliances” category.
The Council collects the WEEE from the containers, bulks it up at a central refuse depot in Redcar and GAP Group pick it up from there to be recycled at its plant or refurbished for reuse.
The Council also fitted boxes/cages to all residual and recycling collection vehicles (RCVs), which can hold up to 50 litres of small WEEE items and requests that householders place small WEEE items in see-through bags next to their kerbside collection bins.
However, residents are encouraged to use a nearby WEEE bank as their first port of call. The Council will take what it can when on the rounds, but the boxes on the RCVs are limited in size so can easily be overwhelmed.
Over the course of 2021, 1.74 tonnes of small waste electrical and electronic equipment have been collected from the WEEE banks.
Use of the WEEE banks is growing and in order to both protect the environment and reduce the risk of fires, it is key that we encourage our residents to dispose of small electrical items responsibly. Providing local access to disposal points is key to the success of this initiative.