South Tyne & Wear Waste Management Partnership

Providing financially disadvantaged people with a starter pack of electrical items and supporting South Tyneside's school battery recycling awareness campaign

Valpak is working with South Tyne & Wear Waste Management Partnership, Groundwork North East and Cumbria, and the charity Changing Lives to provide financially disadvantaged people with a starter pack of electrical items, such as microwaves, kettles, toasters etc, while simultaneously promoting the material up the resource hierarchy.

Recycle Competition – Gap Group

WEEE amnesties for electrical starter packs 

We were joint applicants for a WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment) Fund reuse grant, which was used to finance staff and marketing, so Groundwork could set up WEEE amnesties whereby waste electrical items were donated at specific events.

We provided WEEE reuse containers for these events. Items collected were tested and any that could not be repurposed or reused by the charity were sent to GAP Waste Management’s WEEE reprocessing plant for treatment and recycling.

Schools’ poster competition

At the end of 2020, and on behalf of Valpak, Groundwork North East and Cumbria also coordinated a schools’ battery recycling poster competition in South Tyneside.

School students were challenged to create a graphic to display on one of the Valpak vehicles, which portrayed an influential message promoting the importance of battery recycling in the prevention of fires. There were over 100 entries from junior and secondary schools across the South Tyne and Wear region, which highlights how the younger generation engaged with the project.


To date, over 1,000 electrical items were collected as part of the WEEE campaign, with 901 kg recycled, 275 kg reused and 1174 kg in stock to be rehomed – a total weight of 2350 kg.

This was an impactful competition which provided an inspiring opportunity for students to take action to recycle, whilst simultaneously realising tangible achievements for both themselves and the planet.

Ann Malabar, Groundwork North East and Cumbria