Recycling electrical items, batteries and light bulbs
Any item that uses a battery or a plug for power is known in the recycling world as WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment).
- Electrical Recycling Points - take your small household electrical items to special recycling points across the city
- Recycling Batteries - what to do with household batteries
- Energy Saving Light Bulbs - information and advice on safely disposing of energy saving light bulbs
- Take Back Schemes - find your local shop offering a take back scheme
Small WEEE items include many household objects such as:
- personal care items – hairdryers, electric razors, electric toothbrushes
- DIY equipment – drills, sanders, electric screwdrivers
- gadgets – computers, MP3 players, mobile phones, headphones
- kitchen and homeware – irons, blenders, kettles, toasters
Large WEEE items include fridges, freezers, washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers. These can be reused or recycled at our recycling centres or through retailer take back schemes.
To cut down on waste and to save money, think about items you can hire or borrow rather then buying new. If your items are in working order why not sell it, swap it or have someone collect it from you for reuse?
You can find websites, newspapers, charities and companies which can help with this in our recycling and reuse section.
- On average we accumulate three new electrical items each year
- Only one in five of our small electricals gets recycled
- Electricals contain valuable raw materials such as silver
- WEEE can be used to make other items, for example - one iron contains enough steel to produce 13 steel cans
Electrical recycling points
- Kingswood Street
- Whitecross Street
- Tisbury Road - outside Hove Town Hall
- Upper Rock Gardens
- Norfolk Square, Western Road.
- Marine Cliffs Car Park, Marine Drive, Rottingdean, BN2 7HY
- Asda Marina, Marina Way, Brighton, BN2 5UT.
- Whitehawk Family Centre, Whitehawk Road, Brighton, BN2 5FL
- Leybourne Parade, Lower Bevendean, Brighton, BN2 4LW.
- Withdean Stadium, Tongdean Lane, Brighton, BN1 5JD.
- Outside Hikers Rest P.H., Coldean Lane, BN1 9GD.
- Opposite 57 Ladies Mile Road, Patcham, BN1 8TA
- Montpelier Crescent, Brighton, BN1 3JF
- Preston Park, Preston Drove entrance BN1 6HG
- Goldstone Retail Park, Newtown Road, Hove, BN3 7PN.
If you are part of the black box recycling scheme you can simply leave any household batteries in a clear bag by or on top of your box to be collected and recycled by the recycling crews. You cannot take batteries to communal recycling bins in the street or local recycling points.
You may however find it easier to ‘recycle on the go’ using the stores listed below who operate a battery take back scheme.
Unbroken energy saving light bulbs and fluorescent tubes can be recycled at our recycling centres. Please ask a member of staff when you arrive and they will place the bulbs in the correct container.
You can also drop your energy saving light bulbs into the local retailers below for them to recycle. If you know of any stores which offer energy saving light bulb, battery, small electrical or any other form of recycling please let us know through our online report form.
What if they are broken?
Should you break a bulb it is recommended that, as a precaution, ensure the room is well ventilated for 15 minutes. Then sweep up the broken material using a damp cloth. Place in a sealed plastic bag and take to one of our recycling centres for disposal.
Are energy saving light bulbs more polluting than incandescent (ordinary) bulbs because they contain mercury?
They do contain a small amount of mercury, but that doesn't make them worse for the environment. When fossil fuels (especially coal) are burnt to provide electricity for incandescent bulbs, mercury is released - it's one of the biggest sources in the environment. Because they use much more electricity over the lifetime of the bulb, they lead to the release of more mercury than is contained in an energy saving light bulb.
How much mercury do energy saving light bulbs contain?
A very small amount of up to five milligrams that is about the size as the ball point in a pen – there is about three grams in a mercury thermometer.
What happens during the recycling process?
The bulbs undergo a crushing and separating process to remove plastics, glass and phosphorous powder, which contains the small amount of mercury. The different components are then processed into recyclable material and the mercury safely removed from the phosphorous powder.
You can find more information on the disposal of energy saving light bulbs through DEFRA’s website. If you have a large quantity of energy saving light bulbs to dispose of Recolight may be able to collect them from you.
Some retailers and companies offer free recycling and take back schemes and you could even get some money back for your old gadgets. For a list of nationwide stores which recycle your old electricals when you buy replacements from them view the stores offering take back for replacements document [PDF 19KB].
Below are some of the local retailers which accept back electricals, batteries and energy saving light bulbs for recycling. If you know of any stores which offer small electrical, battery, energy saving light bulb or any other form of recycling please let us know through our online report form.
|Store Name||Address||Post code||Items you can recycle|
|Handy Hardware||51 Marine Drive, Rottingdean||BN2 7HQ||Energy saving light bulbs and small electrical items|
|Currys Digital||75 George Street, Hove||BN3 3YE||Small electrical items|
|Sussex Central YMCA||Hove recycling centre, Old Shoreham Road||BN3 7AE||Working electrical items can be donated for re-use|
|H.R. Hardware||69,, Longridge Avenue, Saltdean||BN2 8LG||Energy saving light bulbs|
|Sainsburys West Hove||361-367 Old Shoreham Road, Hove||BN3 7GD||Energy saving light bulbs|
|Homebase Hove||182 Old Shoreham Road, Hove||BN3 7EX||Energy saving light bulbs|
Battery take-back schemes
Stores which take back batteries for recycling in Brighton
|Store name||Address||Postcode||Other items that can be recycled instore|
|Co-op||106 Dyke Road, Seven Dials||BN1 3JD|
|Co-op||147 - 148 North Street||BN1 1RE|
|Argos Extra||157 -162 Western Road||BN1 2BB|
|Marks and Spencer||195 - 200 Western Road||BN1 2BJ|
|Sainsburys||147 - 148 Western Road||BN1 2DA|
|Mothercare||59 Churchill Square||BN1 2ES|
|Robert Dyas||74 Western Road and 96 George Street, Hove||BN1 2HA|
|Superdrug||77 - 78 Western Road||BN1 2HA|
|Waitrose||130 - 134 Western Road||BN1 2LA|
|Debenhams||95 - 99 Churchill Square||BN1 2TE|
|WH Smiths||69 Churchill Square||BN1 2TE|
|Superdrug||4 Churchill Square||BN1 2TF|
|WH Smiths||Brighton Railway Station||BN1 3ZE|
|Ransoms||3 - 4 Ann Street||BN1 4GP|
|Sainsburys||27 New England Street||BN1 4GQ|
|Aldi||1 - 4 London Road||BN1 4JA|
|Superdrug||43 - 44 London Road||BN1 4JD|
|Somerfield||119 - 120 London Road||BN1 4JH|
|ASDA||Unit 1 Crowhurst Road||BN1 8AP|
|Argos Extra||Carden Avenue||BN1 8LW|
|Morrison's||5 St James's Street||BN2 1RE|
|Superdrug||27 - 28 St James's Street||BN2 1RF|
|B & Q||Unit 3, Pavilion Centre Retail Park, Lewes Road||BN2 3QA|
|Comet||Unit 2 Pavilion Cantre, Lewes Road||BN2 3QA|
|Sainsburys||93 Lewes Road||BN2 3QA|
|ASDA||Brighton Marina||BN2 5UT|
|Warrens||21 Warren Way||BN2 6PH|
|Handy Hardware||51 Marine Drive||BN2 7HQ||Energy saving lightbulbs & small electrical items|
|H.R.Hardware||69 Longridge Avenue||BN2 8LG||Energy saving lightbulbs|
Stores which take back batteries for recycling in Hove & Portslade
|Store name||Address||Postcode||Other items that can be recycled instore|
|Gill's Home & Garden Ltd.||97 Western Road||BN3 1FA|
|Sainsburys||55 - 56 Western Road||BN3 1JD|
|Wickes||Davigdor Road, Peacock Industrial Estate||BN3 1SF|
|Somerfield||88 Church Road||BN3 2EB|
|Superdrug||40 - 41 George Street||BN3 3YB|
|Currys.digital||75 George Street||BN3 3YE||Small electricals|
|Robert Dyas||96 George Street||BN3 3YE|
|WH Smiths||15 - 17 George Street||BN3 3ZA|
|Sainsburys||123 - 125 Portland Road||BN3 5QY|
|Tesco Express||26 The Droveway||BN3 6LE|
|PCWorld||Unit 5B 2 Old Shoreham Road||BN3 7EG|
|Homebase||182 Old Shoreham Road||BN3 7EX|
|Sainsburys||361 - 367 Old Shoreham Road||BN3 7GD|
|Comet||Unit 4 Goldstone Retail Park, Newton Road||BN3 7PN|
|Toys R US||Unit 3, Goldstone Retail Park||BN3 7PN|
|Superdrug||22 - 25 Station Road, Portslade||BN41 1GB|
Visit the Recycle now electricals page for more information and to watch a video on how electrical items are recycled.