Wiser helps spark new life into Norfolk’s old electricals

Wiser Recycling is working with six Norfolk councils to help residents reuse and recycle unwanted electrical items. The six councils have joined forces to secure funding that will help get thousands of unwanted electricals – from fridges and freezers to TVs and toasters – refurbished, reused or recycled in Norfolk instead of being binned.

The funding, from the national Distributor Take Back Scheme, will see tens of thousands of Norfolk residents getting old electricals picked up directly from their homes as Breckland, Broadland, Great Yarmouth, North Norfolk and South Norfolk councils trial a series of free, one-off home collections in selected areas within those districts. The funding will also enable Norfolk County Council to expand a trial that has been running at Thetford recycling centre, where electrical items that residents have brought to the site are refurbished and being sold at the Reuse Shop.

Both schemes are being run with Wiser Recycling – we already collect unwanted electrical items from Norfolk’s recycling centres. All items will go to our facility in Hockwold where they will be safety checked (PAT tested). Suitable items will be refurbished and small appliances returned to be sold in Benjamin Foundation and Crack-On shops, as well as the recycling centre Reuse Shops, where white goods will also be sold. The young people’s charities, The Benjamin Foundation and Thetford-based Crack On Foundation, are participating in both schemes. Wiser Recycling will also recycle electricals that can’t be given a second life to salvage the valuable metals and other materials that are key components of all electrical and electronic equipment.

Councillor John Fisher, Chair of the Norfolk Waste Partnership and Portfolio Holder for Environmental Excellence at Broadland District Council said: “We know people recycle more if it’s convenient for them to do it – that’s what lies at the heart of our Recycling Revolution. This new funding has given us a one off opportunity to boost Norfolk’s recycling rates by trialling a series of free, easy and convenient collections for people to get their old electricals recycled”.

Councillor Toby Coke, who represents the county council on the Norfolk Waste Partnership and is Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Environment Development and Transport Committee added: “This new initiative means that we are putting our waste management policy into practice – preventing more reusable items from being wasted and dealing with waste as close to home as possible. That keeps vital waste management jobs here in Norfolk as well as our carbon footprint “waste miles” – and costs – to a minimum.”

Russell Hirst, Managing Director of Wiser Recycling said: “We are delighted to be working with Norfolk’s local authorities and charities to help keep the value of Norfolk’s waste electrical materials in Norfolk, which is a great benefit to the county. Wiser Recycling is first and foremost a reuse company and it’s great to be giving these items a second life – and to be involved in schemes which expand the number of outlets where they can be sold.”

Information about both schemes is available at www.recyclefornorfolk.org.uk/spark