Devon’s electrical reuse project powers up

Devon County Council (DCC) and SUEZ recycling and recovery UK are pleased to announce the start of a new electrical reuse initiative across the county. The newly created electrical testing hub has been set up to test, clean, and price donated electrical items ready to be resold through the reuse shops at Devon’s recycling centres.

Members of staff at DCC’s household waste recycling centres are engaging with the public to ask whether the electrical items they have brought to the facilities could be reused and saved from going to waste. Once separated, these items are picked up at each recycling centre and taken to a newly created electrical testing hub. Once there, a specially trained member of staff sorts through the electrical goods, cleans the items, and conducts a safety and function test before pricing the items based on their condition.

The range of items collected and reused is growing as the hub becomes more established. So far items include TVs, monitors, audio equipment, guitar amps and vacuum cleaners. Games consoles are the latest addition to the list and other items will be continually added to try and increase the number of reused electrical goods across Devon. So far, since September 2023, the hub has successfully tested and saved 720 items from going to waste and are now being used again by Devon residents. Reuse is not a new idea in Devon.

Reuse areas and/or shops have been a popular feature at Devon’s household waste recycling centres for over 20 years, becoming more and more popular as the years go on. DCC and SUEZ are constantly looking into new items which can be recycled, or even better, reused. As a result, from the 2022/2023 financial period, a record 1,246 tons were sold for reuse through the shops across Devon. This is the equivalent weight of around 85 double decker buses or 240 African Elephants!

Offering reused small electrical items, from gadgets to lamps, not only encourages sustainable consumption habits and reduces waste but also enhances affordability of these items as they are set at a lower price point. Affordable reused electrical goods: saving wallets and the planet, one item at a time.

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Public Health, Communities and Equality, said: “When you next visit one of our recycling centres you may be asked if the item you have is still working; it’s all part of our commitment to ensure that as many items as possible that can still be used are refurbished to be used by others. Repairing instead of throwing away reduces waste, conserves resources and saves money.”

James Taylor, Operations Manager at SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, commented: "Devon’s commitment to waste reduction shines brightly with the addition of small electrical items now available for resale and reuse at our shops. With fully trained staff capable of testing and cleaning these items, we're able to provide more opportunities for Devon residents to find pre-loved treasures while also offering valuable training in new skills for our team. Whether you're in search of a safety tested electrical item or have one to donate, we invite you to visit your local recycling center reuse shop today!"