Cable and Wires
We are all using cables daily, we replace them, have spares and get new cables with most new electronic items purchased. The global wires and cables market is projected to be worth $200 billion in 2022 and grow to $294 billion in 2029. Source: Fortune Business Insights. From these figures alone we can see electrical, and electronic cable is a growth area.
Today, recycling and recovery of valuable metals from all sorts of waste equipment including electrical and electronic items is a normal enough occurrence. We are all familiar with recycling and recycling centres and the need to segregate electrical equipment including cables from other types of household or office equipment for recycling.
Some of the main reasons for segregating items for recycling relate to the circular economy, climate change, global warming and reducing mining of raw materials to make new items such as phone charger cables. It also ensures reusable items don’t go to landfills or for incineration.
Everyday Wires and Cable
A wire is a single electrical conductor while a number of wires bundled together are called a cable. Cables are a feature of everyday life and are an essential part of electrical and electronic equipment. They mainly consist of plastic covering, aluminium (Al), and copper. Cables are usually recycled once the electronic equipment they relate to, has reached the end of their useful lives.
If you have cables of any type including, electrical, phone, internet, power or charger cables they can be recycled safely at a recycling centre alongside other small electrical items.
Whatever you do, cables, wiring, and chargers should never go in the waste bin or green bin. They contain metals like copper that make them hazardous waste if they’re put in the bin. Some cables and wire can be long and stringy, like outdoor lights, office cabling, and simply wire coat hangers but all can cause havoc for collection equipment and recycling staff when not disposed of correctly.
Sometimes, phone and computer chargers can be reused for a different device than the one they came with. So before buying a new charger, see if you have any old ones that will fit. You can also sell cables for reuse or upcycle cable and wire for craft items or homemade and unique jewellery like rings or broaches. Please do ensure plastic and PVC covering once removed are recycled safely.
For some, the recycling and recovery process involves burning the plastic that covers the wire in order to recover the copper and aluminium. This method is extremely harmful to the environment since it releases toxic gases. Please ensure your cable does not end up on fire.
Generally, safe cable recycling works with dry cables with copper or aluminium conductors. The insulation is made of plastic, rubber, or paper with many power cables having, steel or lead armouring for additional safety. These cables can be processed in a cable stripper prior to being downsized into bulk metal and plastic granules which are both reused to make new equipment.
When you recycle anything with a power cable, plug or a battery you are helping to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills. Electrical items generally contain hazardous components and therefore need to be disposed of correctly. By recycling, you help with the reuse of plastics, glass and metals as they are recovered for use again in manufacturing.
It’s easy to check if an electrical item, toy or game is recyclable if it reached the end of its working life. Simply ask the following questions and if the answer is yes, to any of these, it is recyclable: Does it have a plug? Does it use batteries? Does it need charging? Does it have a picture of a wheelie bin crossed out?
About Recycle IT
Recycle IT, is an award-winning social enterprise offering electrical, electronic and metal recycling services through drop off and collection. Recycling services are provided in partnership with WEEE Ireland and South Dublin County Council.
Recycle IT is supported by Pobal and Dormant Accounts and authorised by the National Waste Collection Permit Office and the local authorities across the east midlands waste region.
Our goal is to create training and employment opportunities through the provision of waste management services.
For more information on Recycle IT please call 01 4578321, email email@example.com or visit our website www.recycleit.ie