Recycling your electrical items just became easier! You can now recycle your old and broken small electricals from home if you live in the Rother, Wealden or Hastings area.

Recycle your electricals from home

Most of us have lots of small electricals at home that need recycling. For example, do you have one or two old mobile phones at home as ‘spares’? Or do you have an old kettle or hairdryer which hasn’t worked for ages taking up space in a cupboard?

The good news is that everything with a plug, battery or cable can now be recycled. Simply place your old items into a standard-size carrier bag, and place on top of either your waste or recycling bin on collection day. Please make sure to remove batteries where possible and place these in a separate bag. It’s important that these are separated as they can cause fires (see below).

Residents in Rother, Wealden and Hastings are already recycling over 1 tonne from the kerbside each month. That’s the equivalent of 7,500 irons each year! And we can all recycle more.

You can recycle things like:

  • Smartphones, smart watches and charging cables.
  • Kettles, toasters, blenders and other small kitchen appliances.
  • Electric shavers, electric toothbrushes and hair dryers.
  • Laptops, tablets and small games consoles.
  • Small speakers and remote controls.
  • Electronic tools.
  • Toys.
  • Sports equipment.

For larger items please continue to take these to your nearest household waste and recycling site.

A bag full of old cables.

Batteries – the hot topic

Batteries are an explosive problem for waste and recycling centres. With on average one fire every day at centres in the UK, the Environmental Services Association (ESA), says too many batteries are going into either recycling bins or black rubbish bags, where they are easily damaged by sorting equipment and start to burn. In 2019 there were six fires at depots in Sussex because of batteries.

This summer, a mobile phone battery caused a collection vehicle fire in Wealden. This caused service disruption and crew members were lucky to escape without injury.

Never place batteries into your waste or recycling bin. Instead, recycle your batteries by placing them into a separate carrier bag and placing them on top of you bin. If you live in the Lewes or Eastbourne area please take batteries to your local household waste recycling site. Some supermarkets also collect them.

Why recycling electricals is important

Did you know that old electrical items are one of the fastest growing waste streams in the UK (and in the world)? Last year over 50 million tonnes were thrown away globally.

When we recycle our old electricals, we’re giving a new lease of life to precious metals like gold, copper, steel and aluminium. These valuable materials can then be recycled and turned into everything from bicycles to life saving equipment, solar panels, playgrounds, to new electronics.

For example, the resources gained from recycling batteries are the very same materials being mined in other parts of the world.

To help protect finite materials we must all reduce, reuse and recycle.

A child playing on a swing.

What happens after it has been collected?

Once taken back to depots, small electricals are collected by MDJ Light Bros in Lewes for reprocessing and recycling on its site at Greystone Quarry facility. There, the items are separated into the various different components for recycling. The separated components are then sold to customers depending on demand and market conditions.

Household batteries collected at the kerbside are taken to a facility in Garforth, Leeds, where they are bulked and sent on for recycling. The bulked batteries are taken to one of two specialist facilities owned by Revatech in Belgium. Here at either the Monsin or Engis facility, the batteries are sorted by type before going through mechanical treatment to crush and screen the material. The material goes through a chemical treatment process before being recycled. Base metals and plastics are recovered from the 4,500t of batteries received annually from several European countries.

What else can I recycle from home?

Find out what you can and can’t recycle from your home with our ultimate guide to recycling.

Want to know what happens to your recycling in East Sussex? Find out with our animation!

If you live in Lewes and Eastbourne areas please take you electricals to your nearest household waste and recycling site.

For collection queries please contact your local district or borough council.


Find more information about recycling electricals on your district or borough’s website:

Wealden District Council.

Rother District Council.

Hastings Borough Council.

Find out more about the Recycle Your Electricals campaign.


If you don’t live in the Rother, Wealden or Hastings areas, have larger items or you use communal bins, you can find out where you can recycle your electricals here: Recycle your electricals


Thank you for recycling!