Recycling electricals

Can I put electrical items in my bin?

No. Anything that has a plug, uses batteries or needs charging is known as Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and should not be put in any of your bins when broken or no longer wanted.

These types of items often have the following WEEE logo on them:

WEE Logo
Drawing of a wheelie bin with a cross over it to indicate items should not be put in a bin.

It’s not just large items like microwaves, printers and TVs that you shouldn’t put in your bin. Even smaller items electric toothbrushes, computer mice, hairdryers and electronic toys need to be disposed of correctly:

Remember! If it has a plug, batteries or needs charging then it must not go in your bin.

Why can’t I put electrical items in my bin? 

There is a growing number of waste electronics being disposed of in domestic general waste by accident, ignorance or convenience.

It’s important to know why you shouldn’t put electrical items in your bin. 

Risk of danger

Electrical items often end up in waste incinerators, when, if mixed incorrectly with general waste, can:

  • catch fire causing risk to life
  • cause damage to infrastructure
  • release dangerous toxins.

Reusing rare earth metals

The manufacture of many electrical items now involves mining rare earth metals, processing oil for plastics and huge energy consumption during manufacture. Simply burning these at the end of their life is a waste of resources.

Did you know? 80% of materials used to make an electrical item can be recovered and re-used to make a new one. 

Find out below how they should be disposed of, repaired or recycled.

How can I dispose of electrical items I don’t want?

There are 4 responsible ways in which you can dispose of electrical items:

Working items - reuse with Dove House Hospice

Drop off at a Household Waste Recycling Site (HWRS)

All of the council’s household waste recycling sites have a dedicated Dove House Hospice Re-use Shop container. It is clearly marked with a sign and Dove House Re-use Shop logo, but you can ask one of our attendants if you aren’t sure. They are always happy to help.

Dove House re-use shop container

Find your nearest Household Waste Recycling Site.

Get it collected

Dove House can collect your large electrical items free of charge, providing they are in good working order, suitable for resale, and pass an electrical safety test (PAT) on collection. 

This offer applies to: 

  • fridges  
  • freezers 
  • combined fridge/freezers  
  • washing machines 
  • tumble dryers  
  • dishwashers 
  • electric cookers and ovens  
  • microwave ovens. 

For more information about donating your unwanted electricals and arranging a collection, contact: 

Dove House Re-use Shop

Tel: (01482) 710284 

Email: electricals@dovehouse.org.uk 

Broken items - take to Household Waste Recycling Sites

Any items which are no longer working can be taken to your local Household Waste Recycling Site.There is a special container for broken electricals at each site. 

However, if you think the item might be easily repaired and sold through Dove House for charity, then please ask the attendant who will be able to advise whether it can be recycled and which container it should go in.

Find your nearest Household Waste Recycling Site.

Broken or working items - take to electrical retailers

The new electrical retailer Take-back rules mean recycling appliances has just got easier. Now, when you buy a new electrical product from a participating shop, they will take back your old appliance on a like-for-like basis - even if you didn’t buy your old one from them.

Not buying a replacement? Curry’s and B&Q will take electrical items for recycling even if you aren’t buying anything new.

Read more about the Take-Back scheme on the Recycle Your Electricals website

Get it repaired

It’s always worth seeing if you can get an item repaired before you throw it away. A repair is likely to be much cheaper and often comes with a warranty. You can find lots of local repair services in our Reduce and Reuse register:

Search our Reduce and Reuse register

There are also many repair services on eBay for smaller items, such as hair straighteners, games consoles or phones. Check what warranty they provide and their customer feedback before you buy a repair service.

You might also find local community repair shops which often have Facebook groups. These groups will try to repair your items for free.

How should I dispose of batteries?

Do not put batteries in your bin - either single use or rechargeable ones. They can start fires in refuse collection vehicles and at our transfer stations.

Instead, please take them to either:

  • Your local HWRS the next time you go
  • A shop that has battery recycling facilities - most supermarkets will have one.


Safety warning! When storing batteries at home, even dead ones waiting to be recycled, keep them in a plastic or cardboard container rather than anything made of metal. This will reduce the risk of fire, leakage or rupture.

How can I buy recycled electricals?

There are two Re-use Shops in the East Riding where the items you donate are refurbished and are available to buy by anybody. 

The shops are operated by Dove House Hospice who joined forces with FCC Environment, Hull City Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council, to generate much needed funds whilst also making a significant difference to the environment by reducing the waste generated by the region.

Marfleet Lane, Hull

This shop specialises in electrical items and sells fully working and safety tested large domestic appliances (LDA’s) such as fridges, cookers and washing machines.

Find Marfleet Lane Re-use shop on Google maps

Humberfield HWRS, Hessle

The shop at Humberfield is a treasure trove of unwanted items, such as furniture and electricals, all of which local residents had taken to waste and recycling sites across the region and donated for resale instead of sending them to be recycled or to landfill. From snooker tables to TVs, golf clubs to antiques – the shop has sold them all!

Find Humberfield HWRS on Google maps

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