Currys launch first in-store WEEE collection

July 12, 2007 at 2:56 pm

The retailer Currys has announced that it will launch the first UK in-store recycling scheme designed to accommodate end-of-life electrical products, on June 28th. This scheme will work in accordance with the Waste Electrical and Electronics Equipment (WEEE) directive, which comes into effect a few days after, on July 1st. The scheme is designed to improve upon Currys’ already impressive levels of recycling. The company currently recycles thousands of products every year but they recognise that recycling and disposal tend to coincide with replacement. Indeed, the company takes back over 20,000 tonnes of end-of-life products, and in many cases the base materials are recycled and used to make new products which continue to be sold in the store. To ensure that Currys meets the standards of the new WEEE initiative with its latest scheme, the company has set up a unique network of specialist recycling contractors, who will ensure that the standards are reached and maintained. These contractors will also make sure that the disposal of the collected goods is, above all else, safe and will pose no danger to either the natural environment or the general public.

The scheme is relatively simple. Customers will be able to return without any charge, products (regardless of where they were purchased) directly to any one of the network of 500 Currys stores. Alternatively, if they are having new electrical products delivered to their homes, they can easily arrange to have their equivalent old product being replaced, collected. Significantly, Currys are the only electrical retailer opting for such a customer-friendly interpretation of the WEEE Directive.

The WEEE directive itself was agreed on 13th February 2003 and was set up to ensure that major producers, rebranders and importers of household electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) pay for the responsible disposal and recycling of their goods. Electrical waste is growing at a worrying rate, around three times the rate of general waste. The WEEE regulations when brought into practice on July 1st will encourage more recycling, recovery and reuse, and will stop electrical items reaching landfill and causing excess waste unnecessarily. The WEEE directive will also work at an individual level, encouraging the public to take more direct responsibility for recycling and reuse of electronic goods. Stores such as Currys will help enormously with this initiative and hopefully will lead to more similar take-back schemes being set up by other retailers.

Currys’ steps at helping the environment through recycling are not really surprising. After all, Currys’ parent company DSG International has always been committed to sustainable production of goods. DSG International are also responsible for Dixons, who are calling on suppliers to bring an end to the standby button on all electrical goods, in order to reduce the energy usage of products. Electrical goods can actually use as much energy on stand-by mode as they do when they are operating to their full potential. Around 10% of the average household’s electricity bill is wasted through appliances which are left on when not in use. This not only wastes money but is also harming the environment for no good reason.

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3 responses to “Currys launch first in-store WEEE collection”

  1. Emma Boulting says:

    I am glad to see a big electrical goods company actually making some moves to changing how electrical goods work for us – removing the standby function on all of its goods is a very positive and responsible move toward cutting down on energy wastage. Thank you.

  2. Temujin Gill says:

    Its really good to hear a large retailer making such a positive effort towards reducing harmful waste. I think much more effort should be made by governments to make it more attractive for companies and the public to recycle.

  3. Richard Duke says:

    If you buy an item from Curry’s and ask them to take the old appliance away do make sure it’s clearly stated on the receipt. They made a mistake on my bill and they flatly refused to take the old one away. When I went to the shop I was met with contempt and told to ring the council even though it was their fault. The council charge £12 to remove white goods and I’ll leave you to guess if Curry’s offered to pay the £12?