New site finds homes for old items

May 28, 2010 at 12:56 pm

With recycling becoming increasingly important for the country as a whole, it is good news to hear that has just re-launched its website. has the simple but noble mission of trying to prevent as much junk as possible from being sent to landfill sites. With its new website, it has made this easier than ever to achieve with a whole set of new features.

The main theme of the website is that rather than throwing out your old items, it is far better to find new homes for them. It achieves this effectively by providing an easier way to find new homes for old items, as well as helping people to search for old unwanted items.

Pretty much anything can be posted on the site, including common items for the home, the kitchen, the garden and many more. There is also the option of free advertising to assist in the search for a new home.

In addition, the website offers a service for exchanging old mobile phones for money, meaning people can actually make some good money from doing the right thing.

The process is quick and easy, and there are new ways to use the site that make it more intuitive. People getting rid of their old items can add their contact numbers to adverts, and people searching for items can set up email alerts to inform them when items they are interested in appear.

People can also take advantage of better search features that allow them to search by postcodes so that they can find items that are located in their vicinity.

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Scotland struggles towards 40% recycling target

May 21, 2010 at 10:51 am

The government’s environmental watchdog has warned that Scotland still has a long way to go to reach its target of recycling 40% of rubbish by the end of 2010.

The latest figures released suggest that Scotland currently recycles 34% of all rubbish and will face a serious challenge to increase that by 6% or more over the coming year.

The rate of 34% is a success story given that it is nearly twice the amount recycled five years ago, but the rate of increase has slowed in recent years and 40% now looks unlikely.

In its recently published annual report, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) called the 40% figure ‘challenging’ and suggested that more needed to be done if Scotland was to meet its expectations.

Martin Marsden, head of environmental quality at SEPA, was keen to highlight the task that would be faced in the future. He stated that "even greater challenges lie ahead" and that everyone would have to accept lifestyle changes in order to "further prevent, reuse and recycle our waste in Scotland".

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government was keen to point out that many Scottish councils were now breaking the 40% target and that Scotland as a whole was taking huge strides towards reducing its dependency on landfills. She was quick to warn, however, that "we cannot take our foot off the pedal".

The zero-waste goals, which include a 50% nationwide recycling rate by 2013 and a 60% rate by 2020, were given further support in February when an extra £7 million was provided to local councils in Scotland in an attempt to help them reach their recycling goals.

Whether Scotland’s target of a 40% recycling rate can be achieved by the end of the current year remains to be seen, but it seems that in light of the most recent figures, Scotland has a long way to go to realise the goals of its zero waste policy.

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Please replace the handset

May 7, 2010 at 2:37 pm

A report entitled ‘Please replace the handset: mobile phone recycling in the UK’ has just been published and provides answers to many of the questions that may cross your mind when you upgrade your phone.

Telecoms analysts, Ovum, who produced the report, say that the UK market is now far more “cut-throat”. The consumer, it seems, cares far more about the financial benefits of diverting their unwanted handsets from landfill than the environmental or charitable ones.

According to Ovum’s figures, some eight million mobile phones were recycled last year (almost double the previous year’s figure) and only 10% were melted for scrap. Many old mobiles now end up in developing countries such as India, China and much of Africa, but Hong Kong is another important destination with auction houses there buying and selling by the crate load.

Charities such as Shelter and Children in Need are feeling the pinch, both because in times of recession people hang on to their phones for longer and because the public is becoming increasingly aware of how much their old handset is worth to them. It is now possible to get cash for almost any phone, although obviously the better condition it is in, the more it is worth.

A quick look on the internet shows that sites such as Mazuma Mobile and Fonebank offer up to £280 for your unwanted mobile. According to Charlo Carabott of Mazuma this means that people are far less likely now to hang on to an old mobile to the point where it cannot be reused and so ends up in landfill.

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