Clear Out Electricals Week took place in Grantham and Stamford from 12th – 18th March, 2012.The idea of the week was to try out our ideas for collecting e-waste and raising awareness about its impacts. We chose to work in two Lincolnshire towns because of their proximity to Environcom, the e-waste company we are working with – it meant that collections were not too far away. There was enormous enthusiasm from the people we met and the organisations who participated – and an untapped desire from the public to have somewhere to put their e-waste and to know that something worthwhile was happening to it.
The Stamford Mercury – local newspaper – had their reception area over-flowing with e-waste. And a corner of their office too. They’d publicised our Clear Out Electricals Week on the front page of the paper – and suggested that readers bring e-waste into their offices. They were flooded! The cage we’d provided was full by the end of the first morning, as Stamford residents brought in old irons, vacuum cleaners, phones, printers, TVs – items that had been lurking in garages and drawers, for years. By the end of our week, they’d collected over 2 tonnes of e-waste for reuse or recycling.
Before Clear Out Electricals Week, almost no-one in the area knew what e-waste waste was. But our survey of students found that over 2/3rds of them were surprised at how much e-waste they had accumulated – and many of them became aware that what they threw away ended up in holes in the ground. One said ‘I know they’re not recycled and that’s bad for the environment’.
See separate news items for schools, shops & shopping centres, hotels and local businesses that participated in the week, as well as details about the household collections we organised.