Highland residents have been making full use of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) recycling facilities that were introduced at Recycling Centres across the region in January 2010 - so much so that The Highland Council has won two “WEEE Collector of the Month” awards.
The Recycling Electrical Producers’ Industry Consortium (REPIC) has a contract with The Highland Council to collect WEEE from the Council’s Recycling Centres. They run a Local Authority Contract Partner Recognition Programme and The Highland Council was awarded a bronze certificate due to the high levels of WEEE per head collected throughout the region in June 2010. This was then capped by the achievement of a gold certificate for the month of July.
WEEE recycling means that Highland householders can recycle any electrical item with a plug attached, or items operated by a battery. This includes everything from large items such as fridges, freezers, washing machines and televisions, to small items such as hairdryers, DVD players and battery operated toys. It also includes fluorescent light tubes, standard light bulbs and energy efficient light bulbs.
Councillor John Laing,Chairman of TEC Services, said: “Over 180 tonnes of WEEE was collected across the Highlands in June, and just over 250 tonnes in July. This is a wonderful achievement for the Council, and it is down to householders making efforts to recycle their electrical items rather than send them to landfill. Our team of Site Operatives have also done an excellent job of directing householders to the WEEE containers at Recycling Centres and ensuring as many items as possible are diverted from landfill skips. A lot of the items collected were television sets due to the recent digital switch over and we expect the service to be kept busy as Christmas approaches.”
All electrical items deposited at the Recycling Centres are collected by Alness-based Social Enterprise group ILM Highland who are the contractors appointed by REPIC to undertake the collections in Highland. Wherever possible, ILM select items with a view to maximising reuse. Refurbished items are sold in ILM’s site shop at Unit 1G, Teaninich Industrial Estate, Alness. The remainder of the WEEE is sent for recycling.
Bill MacKenzie, chairman of ILM Highland said: "ILM is delighted to play a part in the recycling and reuse of electrical items in the Highlands. Since January we have been extremely busy delivering this service. However, the amount collected in June, which subsequently increased in July, is far better than expected. The efforts of both Highland Council and ILM staff are to be commended."
To donate electrical items to ILM Highland, please contact them on 01349 884774. For more information on recycling or waste minimisation, visit /recycle email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01349 868439.
REPIC have recently had cause for celebration; they have reached a collection rate of over half a million tonnes of WEEE across the UK since the Directive came into force, and they hope this will reach a million tonnes by the end of 2011.