Posts tagged "electrical appliance"

How can I reuse or recycle hair straighters/flat irons?

Over on the Suggest an Item page, Nicole has said:

I’ve had two straighteners/flat irons (to straighten hair) die on me. Is there a way to recycle these other than tossing them?

As a minimum, they should be collected for electronic/electric waste recycling – either at your local tip/”household waste recycling centre” or through an in-store take-back scheme (they take your old item when you buy something new from them) – all shops which sell small electrical goods (including phone shops & department stores) should in theory have a WEEE recycling scheme. Things taken for WEEE recycling are stripped down and their metals reclaimed, so it is worth doing.

But are there any reuses for them? As anyone who knows me/has seen a photo of me will know, my frizzy head is not exactly familiar with hair straighteners so I’m not sure I know enough about how they work to be able to suggest other reuses. Anyone got any ideas?

How can I reuse or recycle electric toothbrushes?

We’ve had an email from Georgina:

Where can i recycle electric toothbrushes? What about the replaced brushes?

Electric toothbrushes are covered under Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations so should be recycled in designated WEEE bins at tips etc. The replacement heads almost certainly won’t be covered by that though – perhaps some of the reuse suggestions for normal toothbrushes would work — the ideas where you don’t need the full length handle.

Any specific reuse or recycling ideas for them though?

(Like with everything, do think about the most important of the 3R’s before buying a new one – reduce. Do you really need an electric toothbrush instead of a manual one? If so, a mains powered one (assuming you have mains power in a suitable place) may be a better buy over a rechargeable one – the rechargeable ones tend to be sealed units for waterproofing and once the battery goes (which it invariably will), the whole thing has to be thrown out unless you’re very good at fixing things.)

How can I find the perfect – green – kettle?

(First, sorry for the lack of posts for the last two days – it was my birthday on Tuesday and so I’ve had two days off. Back to the grindstone now though ;) )

We’ve had an email from Su:

Sorry about this, as it’s not about recycling or repairing, but I thought some like-minded soul may be able to help!

My query relates to electric kettles. In my house they last, on average about 15 months. I have tried expensive, cheap, stainless steel, plastic, cordless… I’m not sure why they don’t last since I only use them for their intended purpose ie: boiling water, but modern kettles don’t seem to be made to be repaired.

I have been using a stove top kettle on my electric cooker for about a year now, BUT in a morning it’s almost half an hour before I get my pot of tea (and I NEED my tea in a morning!). Plus, I believe that although electric kettles use a lot of power, they use less than the cooker. So my point is this, I want to buy a new kettle, but it needs to be a) energy efficient, b) repairable & c) preferably, as ethical as possible. All ideas gratefully received!

We go through cycles of this – our electric kettle develops some annoying fault which John tries but fails to fix and we decide that electric kettles are a wasteful scam. Then we drag our stove top kettle out of storage and clean it off, only to get incredibly frustrated at how long it takes to boil on the stove and eventually snapping and buying another electric kettle. I think our kettles last about 2 years – so slightly longer than Su’s – but still, a brief enough lifespan to be very wasteful.

So any ideas for Su? There are a number of electric kettles that bill themselves as being eco-friendly – has anyone had any experience of those? Are there any other options?

(Photo by chris2k)