Monday, 15 December 2014

250m Kilos of WEEE in my wardrobe

Strange things are emerging from the darkest recesses of East Grinstead. Regular readers may well remember that we are opening our doors to the good people of our home town to wipe their hard drives for free. (See news section of for fully details).

I have had a regular stream of calls since appearing on Meridian 107FM and our nice article in the East Grinstead Courier. It seems that people are digging out old PC’s they were too frightened to get rid of. One lady even told me her son had delivered his old PC to her, as he had moved away from the area, but wanted to dispose of his old kit safely and responsibly.

In a way it has restored my faith in human nature. Clearly there are quite a few consumers who realise that their data is still there and don’t want to trust the local tip to protect it. To be honest we never truly expected to be swamped with old kit. To us it was more about publicising the issue, and of course raising awareness of our name. But it looks like we will see quite a few takers, and I will faithfully report back early in the New Year.

I firmly believe personal data security is something we do need to keep banging on about, because concerns about it are there, which means piles of un-recycled kit are there too. And I am not immune either, although mine is more about laziness than fear, as nothing I have tucked away at home has a memory.

My haul starts with an old video player, which I keep because I still have old videos too. And no, I haven’t turned it on in recent memory. Then there is a Virgin cable TV box, redundant since I upgraded to TiVo some two years ago. The engineer did not want to take it and Virgin seem to have decided it is worthless, so not knowing what to do with it I put it with the video player. On a shelf in my wardrobe.

Next is an old CD/Radio from when I used to play CD’s. I think I also have a few wires and cables and two old mobiles. Maybe 3. I live in a flat, a block of 12, and if we all had a similar haul that is a pretty impressive load. I reckon maybe 10 kilos of stuff in my flat...and according to Wikipedia there are over 25,000,000 households in the UK. So that is 250m kilos of WEEE or about 275,000 tons.

According to a quick Google the last available figures for WEEE tonnage is 2012 and the figure was just over 500k tons.

Now maths was never my strong point but I think I am suggesting that six months worth of WEEE collections are sitting in my wardrobe...