New electrical waste collection service confirmed for households on St Mary's

The council will be launching a new electrical waste and recycling collection service for households on St Mary’s. The service is expected to launch by late summer, following the arrival of a collection vehicle on island. The aim of the service is simple: to make recycling unwanted electricals easier than ever! Electrical waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the UK and throughout the world. By throwing away or hoarding unwanted electricals we are losing precious resources contained within them, such as gold, aluminium and platinum. 

The new recycling service for unwanted electricals will operate as a bookable, kerbside collection round on St Mary’s. Residents will benefit from having almost any electrical product with a plug or cable collected near to their homes.  You will be able to find a full list of items that can be collected on the council's website in the lead up to the launch of the service, but we can confirm it will include both smaller electrical items (eg. kettles, toasters, lamps and telephones) and larger items (eg. computers, washing machines, microwaves, cookers, fridges and freezers). Commercial electronic waste will not be collected, nor will vehicle batteries, certain lightbulbs or bulky items over a certain size. 

To enable the council to start collecting electricals for recycling on St Marys, a new electric vehicle has been procured with support from the not-for-profit organisation Material Focus, who are leading the UK-wide Recycle Your Electricals campaign. It’s set to be the first electric vehicle in the council’s waste and recycling fleet and highlights one of the many practical steps being taken by the council to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030. Through this fantastic project, the council aims to collect around 23 tonnes of electrical waste for recycling, which will be a significant step towards achieving the commitment set out in our Waste Reduction Strategy to increase recycling rates to 65% by 2030. A drop-off system at the off-island waste sites is already well established.

Councillor Steve Sims, Lead Member for Place said: “Waste and recycling on Scilly has made massive strides over the last 6 years and it’s great that we are now in a position to focus on all the smaller but no less important bits. Electrical waste is one of the fastest growing sources of waste in the UK and it’s estimated that at least 7 tonnes of small electrical items such as batteries, cables, chargers and even items like Wi-Fi routers are wrongly discarded in household ‘black bag’ waste every year here on the islands. Together, using this new collection service, we can reduce waste, and the threat it poses to our environment, and increase recycling rates in line with our Waste Reduction Strategy.”

Scott Butler, Executive Director of Material Focus commented: “This project is vital to ensuring that we make good use of our old electricals. Whether they are re-used or recycled, these items contain valuable materials that will otherwise be lost forever. Our research has shown that in the UK we are hoarding over 527 million small electrical items, an average of 20 per household, which is why we have recently launched our Recycle Your Electricals campaign. We are delighted to be working with the Council of the Isles of Scilly on one of a number of new recycling projects that we are funding in the UK. So, whether you are at home or work, please hunt out your old electricals and recycle them to benefit the environment.” 

Residents can continue to take their electrical and other items to the Waste and Recycling Centre. Please be aware that a booking system is in place. To make a booking please email or call 01720 424450 (voicemail only). We encourage residents to sell or donate working or easily repairable items where possible.

Further details about the new waste and recycling collection service, including how to book a slot, will be published via the Zero Waste Scilly social media channels and on the council website in due course.

Please follow Zero Waste Scilly on FacebookInstagram and Twitter for all the latest information on how to get involved and recycle more. 


Material Focus (formerly the WEEE Fund), is a not-for-profit organisation whose goal is to stop the nation throwing away or hoarding all their old small electricals. It has launched the new UK-wide Recycle Your Electricals campaign. The campaign is revealing the value hidden in electricals and is making it easier for us all to recycle and reuse the small electricals we no longer need, by providing more recycling points as well as providing practical information on how households can recycle.



Publishing date: 
Thursday, 18 March, 2021