People in the Highlands are being encouraged to help the environment and vulnerable people by getting rid of unwanted small electrical goods.
Ten new collection points in the region will aim to gather 24,000 pieces of electrical equipment with about half being refurbished and sold at affordable prices.
The scheme is being funded by not-for-profit organisation Material Focus and run by ILM Highland, which operates electrical waste recycling and reuse services as well as refurbished retail and home improvement support for vulnerable people.
It has created a new recycling operative job and is claimed will save 6,888 kg of CO2.
Research by Material Focus found that UK householders are hoarding 527 million small electrical items, an average of nearly 20 per household. The problem is set to get worse as waste electricals are one of the fastest-growing waste streams.
The Highland scheme, part of the Recycle Your Electricals campaign, will collect all items of small electrical waste including kettles, toasters, phones, techno gadgets, electrical toys, hair dryers, DIY power tools and electrical garden equipment at the ten locations. These will include Tesco at Dingwall, as well as sites at Fortrose, Muir of Ord, Conon Bridge, Alness, Invergordon, Bonar Bridge and Dornoch and two still to be confirmed.
Martin Macleod, CEO at ILM Highland, said: “We were keen to get behind the Recycle Your Electricals campaign and make it easier for Highland residents to de-clutter, donate to a local good cause and do their bit to save the planet.
“It’s estimated that every household in the UK has around £620 worth of electronics sitting unused. These could provide a lifeline for someone unable to buy new, and for those who are looking to buy second hand to protect our environment. Even broken items can be utilised in unexpected ways, with components being recycled in various ways.”
Scott Butler, executive director of Material Focus, said it is vital people make good use of old electricals.
“Whether they are re-used or recycled – these items contain valuable materials that will otherwise be lost forever. Our research has shown that in the UK we are hoarding over 527 million small electrical items, an average of 20 per household, which is why we have recently launched our Recycle Your Electricals campaign.
“We are delighted to be working with ILM Highland, which is one of a number of new re-use projects that we are funding in the UK. So whether you are at home or work, please hunt out your old electricals and donate them to benefit your community.”