Recycling electrical items, batteries and light bulbs

Small picture of some small electrical items including an iron and a lamp

Any item that uses a battery or a plug for power is known in the recycling world as WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment).

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.

Reusing electricals

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.

Recycling electricals

small icon of an electrical plug

  • 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

So take your old or broken small electrical items with you on your next trip to your local recycling centre or to one of the new recycling points which have been set up across the city.

Electrical recycling points

  1. Kingswood Street
  2. Whitecross Street
  3. Tisbury Road - outside Hove Town Hall
  4. Upper Rock Gardens
  5. Norfolk Square, Western Road.
  6. Marine Cliffs Car Park, Marine Drive, Rottingdean, BN2 7HY
  7. Asda Marina, Marina Way, Brighton, BN2 5UT.
  8. Whitehawk Family Centre, Whitehawk Road, Brighton, BN2 5FL
  9. Leybourne Parade, Lower Bevendean, Brighton, BN2 4LW.
  10. Withdean Stadium, Tongdean Lane, Brighton, BN1 5JD.
  11. Outside Hikers Rest P.H., Coldean Lane, BN1 9GD.
  12. Opposite 57 Ladies Mile Road, Patcham, BN1 8TA
  13. Montpelier Crescent, Brighton, BN1 3JF
  14. Preston Park, Preston Drove entrance BN1 6HG
  15. Goldstone Retail Park, Newtown Road, Hove, BN3 7PN.

A small image of lots of household batteries

Recycling Batteries

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.

Energy Saving Light Bulbs

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.

A selection of energy saving light bulbs

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.

Take back schemes

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.

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 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.