Businesses, residents, schools and students in Hertfordshire collected an amazing 57 tonnes of e-waste for recycling at an event last week (on 08, 09 and 10 June 2011). The three day event, at County Hall in Hertford, was part of a drive to encourage local people and companies to clear out their workplaces, sheds, lofts and garages of unwanted or broken electrical items and recycle them rather than throwing them in the bin. Over 30% of the schools in Hertfordshire took part in the event, as did students at the University of Hertfordshire.

The event was hosted by European Recycling Platform (ERP), Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Hertfordshire Waste Partnership (HWP).

The e-waste collected included keyboards, printers, scanners, mobile phones, DVD players, kettles and toasters. The collected items were sent for recycling to SWEEEP Kuusakoski Ltd, a specialist WEEE processor based in Sittingbourne, Kent, where they will be treated to recover the metals and plastics which they contain. The recovered materials will then be sent on to manufacturers and used to make new products. Recycling and disposal services are provided courtesy of Apple.

Scott Butler, Managing Director at European Recycling Platform, said:

“Recycling your unwanted electricals keeps them out of landfill, saves energy and allows the valuable materials in them to be used to make new products. I hope our event raised awareness among the local community and employees that all electrical waste can be recycled.”

Tim Hutchings, Chief Executive, Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry, said: “This initiative presents a great opportunity for businesses to dispose of unwanted electrical equipment for free whilst demonstrating their commitment to the community in which they operate. We are delighted to be associated with this event.”

Derrick Ashley, Executive Member for Waste at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “We are keen to do all we can to encourage recycling and divert as much waste as possible away from landfill. Events like these really help to raise awareness of how easy it is to recycle electrical goods you no longer need.

“If you missed out on the event at County Hall, electronic goods can also be taken to our Household Waste Recycling Centres around the county. To find out the location of your nearest centre that accepts electrical goods please visit http://www.wasteaware.org.uk/