Posts tagged "kettle"

How can I reuse or recycle an electric kettle?

We’ve had an email from Simon:

We’ve got two old electric kettles in our garage, one works but is very grimy, the other doesn’t work, not sure why. Can we do anything with them?

Electric kettles are covered under the WEEE Directive so in theory, you should be able to send them back to their manufacturer for recycling. In practise though, this isn’t always easy to do – but most, if not all, councils in the UK have some provision for small appliance recycling at household waste centres. Some even do periodic doorstep collection of electrical items so do check on your local situation.

It might be worth seeing if the dirty working one can be rescued though – it might just need some elbow grease and a good de-scaling. If you don’t have a use for it, someone on your local Freecycle/Freegle group might be able to use it either for general kettle use (if they’re happy with how it cleans up) or for non-food purposes.

Fun/pretty old kettles – or vintage-style new ones – might also have some appeal as a quirky planter.

Any other reuses or better ways to recycle them?

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)

How can I reuse or recycle (or repair) a stove top kettle?

We’ve had an email from long time Recycle This-er Alice in Blogland:

I just killed my stainless steel on-the-hob kettle! Left it on the hob too long – I forgot about it ‘cos the whistle broke ages ago.

They do burn through eventually but I’ve never seen it happen before. It’s started leaking at the seam around the bottom where the sides join the base, and I’m a bit stuck for either re-uses or how to recycle it. Anyone got any ideas?

I think kettles with removable lids look mighty cute as plant pots but with the leak, you might want to put the pot on a plastic saucer in the kettle to catch overspill water – or it might be easier to seal the leak if you know it doesn’t have to be heat-proof too (for example, some waterproof silicone sealant might do the job well enough to use it as a plant pot but would make your tea somewhat plasticky and poisonous…).

Any other ideas for reuses? What about kettle that you refill through the spout so have less reuse-as-a-pot potential?

Anyone got any repair advice or words of caution?