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Recycling household and commercial waste has become increasingly common in recent years, but what about those seemingly tricky to recycle items such as ink cartridges, electrical appliances, batteries, and more?

Contrary to popular belief, recycling these miscellaneous items is usually easy and hassle-free.

Instead of throwing these frequently used items in the rubbish bin, why not get into the habit of recycling them for free?

By recycling items such as cartridges, electrical appliances, and batteries the right way, you’ll not only help to protect the environment, but stop wasting your money on collection charges.

Here’s how.

1. Save money by using designated take-back schemes or drop-off points

Toner cartridges

Instead of paying a waste collector to dispose of your empty toner cartridges, you can normally send them back to the manufacturer free of charge.

Many manufacturers will even include a returns envelope or box when you purchase new printer cartridges, making it easier than ever to return them to the supplier for reuse once your cartridge is empty.

Certain retail stores (such as the stationer you purchased the cartridges from) can also accept your used toner cartridges and even offer you a discount when purchasing replacements.

Toner cartridge manufacturers are keen to have these back and are happy to provide you with an incentive to return them once finished. Waste not want not.

For more information on specific manufacturers’ take-back schemes, click below:

Electrical Appliances

You can recycle printers and other electrical appliances (small and large) including mobiles, office appliances, coffee makers, kettles, microwaves, and more.

When the electrical item is small (i.e. under 60cm in length and under 30cm in width and height), please check this list on recycling electrical appliances drop-off points in the City of Westminster to find yours.

To recycle your computer or items such as copiers and printers, we recommend using the manufacturers take-back scheme (see e.g. the links under ‘toner cartridges’ above). It is important that you take measures to erase or destroy anything on the machine to ensure your personal data is protected and you comply with legislation such as GDPR.

Alternatively, if you cannot find a way to recycle your old computer free of charge yourself, you can have it collected via our bulky waste service.


Pallets are another item that manufacturers are keen to have back, as they can reuse them and save money.

To have blue CHEP marked pallets collected, you can contact CHEP here.

To have EPAL/EUR marked pallets collected, you can email info@brepal.org.uk or call 0116 274 7353.

Plastic bakery crates

Plastic bakery crates can also be taken away for free. To find out more about Bakers Basco’s recovery services, click here.

You can also email them at recovery@bakersbasco.co.uk or call 0800 327323 to arrange for them to be collected.

Coffee pods

The producers of coffee pods and capsules have set up a take-back scheme for these items. Please see here for further information.

2. Protect the environment by disposing of hazardous waste responsibly


Used batteries can be harmful if not disposed of carefully, so it’s crucial to recycle them the right way to protect others and the environment.

Fortunately, almost any store that sells common household batteries will take them back for recycling free of charge — from supermarkets including Tesco and Sainsbury’s, to stationery shops such as Ryman and WHSmith.

Our battery collection point finder will help you to find your nearest recycling location.

Westminster businesses can recycle small volumes of batteries at local libraries and the mobile recycling centre, too. Click hereto learn more.

3. Change your mindset

Although many of us are not used to recycling items such as ink cartridges, electrical appliances, batteries, and more, it’s a habit that we should all be committing to.

Recycling items that you no longer need in the right way contributes towards a cleaner and safer environment for us all — and with a growing number of incentivised schemes, recycling can also save you money in the long-term.

Changing our mindset and in turn behaviour is the first crucial step towards the much bigger picture.

What could you recycle for free today?

At Westminster City Council, we understand that it can be difficult knowing what waste goes where. We have made your life easier by creating a simple guide that teaches you exactly where different types of waste should go. Download the guide now.

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