This week is E-Waste Amnesty Week brought to our attention by the Repair Cafe but what does it mean for local residents? Last week’s news, that the Government is consulting on potential changes to kerbside recycling to include small electrical items in a bid to improve recycling rates, is welcomed by many. Portsmouth is ahead of this trend by already offering this to city residents who live in houses. However, a recent survey by Repair Café Portsmouth has shown that as well as ease of access, 64% of Portsmouth residents surveyed said they would like their unused electrical items to benefit others, rather than going straight to being recycled.
In response to this news, Repair Café Portsmouth has created Portsmouth’s first E-waste Amnesty Week, which runs Mon 8th – Sun 14th of January. They have partnered with six local charities and organisations across the city, where people can drop their unwanted small electrical items, enabling the charities to raise funds by selling working or fixable items and recycling end-of-life items.
Sadly, the UK is the second largest producer of electrical/electronic waste (e-waste) in the world. It is estimated that 880 million electrical items (of all kinds) lie unused in UK homes, based on 2023 research by Material Focus, with the average UK home having four or five
charging cables, two or three mobile phones and two or three remote controls cluttering up cupboards! Local research confirms that this rings true in Portsmouth as well, with local residents most frequently listing cables, phones and tablets as items that take up space in their homes.
Plan Of Action
Earlier last year, Share (Portsmouth) which runs Repair Café in the city, secured funding from Virgin Media 02 and Hubbub to deliver the Time After Time project, aiming to address some of Portsmouth’s e-waste issues. As a result, they have created an online map so that residents can find local places to repair, sell, donate and recycle their unwanted small
electrical items. January’s E-waste Amnesty Week has also been created to encourage people to hunt out these items and do something about them. 50% of those surveyed said that they simply never get around to doing anything with the items, but if prompted they might have a clear out.
“January is a perfect time to have a clear-out and help others”, says Clare Seek, founder of Share (Portsmouth). “Many of us start a New Year with aspirations to create new habits, set intentions, or simply have got to make space for new items that we’ve received over Christmas. We hope that everyone will take 10 minutes to check through drawers, under
beds, in cupboards and lofts for their unused phones, cables, toasters etc, and will then drop items to the charities that we’ve highlighted for the week, or any of the others that are listed on our website. It’s a win-win for everyone, with you decluttering, charities being able to raise
more funds for the great work they do in our communities, and keeping our electrical items lasting longer, or elements being recycled.”
Places To Drop Your Electrical/Electronic Waste
The charities and organisations involved are spread across the city with
Revitalise in PO1.
Naomi House in PO2.
Southern Electric in PO3.
The Rainbow Centre in PO4.
Salvation Army in PO5 and PO6.
Their contact details and opening hours can be found at
About Share Portsmouth
- Share (Portsmouth) opened a hub in Cascades in May 2023 which is now home to Repair Café Portsmouth & Portsmouth Library of Things.
- Residents can bring in their broken items and get help from experienced volunteers to try and fix them together – reducing waste, carbon and saving money.
- Members of Portsmouth Library of Things can borrow infrequently used items, rather than buying them, saving money, carbon and space. It could be anything from a lawnmower, drill, chocolate fountain, high chair or drain rods.
- The Time After Time project focuses on understanding more about why Portsmouth residents don’t recycle more of their e-waste and creating a solution to increase repairing, selling, donating and recycling unused small electrical items.
- For more information visit www.shareportsmouth.org.uk