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Ignorance and inconvenience blamed for low furniture and electrical recycling rates

A lack of awareness and inconvenience are being blamed as the main reason why people fail to recycle furniture and large electrical goods, according to a new survey.

The research commissioned by the British Heart Foundation Furniture and Electrical Stores found that 17% of people surveyed did not recycle such items because it was too much hassle and a further 16% of people said it was because they didnt have any facilities nearby.

The survey also found that 26% of people replace large furniture and electrical items every two years which has a damaging effect on the environment as an estimated 50,000 tonnes of household furniture is sent to landfill every year.

The BHF is encouraging people to donate their unwanted furniture or electrical items to their Furniture & Electrical stores instead of throwing them away and they will come and collect the items from homes free of charge.

BHF director of retail Mike Lucas said: As a whole in Britain we are taking the right steps to becoming a greener nation, yet the high number of people that are not even considering recycling their furniture and electrical goods is very alarming.

Furniture Re-Use Network also agreed that more needs to be done to encourage people to re-use their unwanted furniture.

FRN development officer Helen Middleton said: I think that lack of awareness is a major issue.

I also think that schemes like the WEEE directive and retailer take back initiatives have made it easier for people to get rid of items without actually re-using them or thinking about re-use as an alternative.

The survey was based on the responses of 2024 adults and was conducted online between February 15-17.  Recycling in the survey refers to people who sold a furniture or electrical item on, donated it to charity or took it to a recycling centre.


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