The last publication of guidance to enable organisations to safely and efficiently prepare used electrical and electronic equipment for reuse in a compliant manner was back in 2007.
Since then many relevant standards and regulations have been introduced, meaning that the need has never been greater for a cross-cutting reuse and repair specification - including product-specific requirements, service procedures and protocols, and published guidance - to help reuse operators meet the required standards and offer consistency and quality of practices.
The Reuse Network represents a system of Approved Reuse Centres and it identified that more support needed to be given for many of the complex factors that reuse organisations must navigate, including:
The Reuse Network believes that no one should be without a bed to sleep on, a cooker to cook on or a sofa to sit on.
In 2019 alone, members of the Network repaired and reused approximately 400,000 units of electricals (65% large appliances, 10% TVs, 10% ICT, and 15% small domestic appliances and AV items) – this equated to over 17,000 tonnes of electrical equipment reused, saving 23,000 tonnes of CO2. Impressively, it also helped low income households save £43 million on electrical goods that they could not afford to buy new.
With this project now completed, that impressive impact will be amplified even further, for years to come.
Today there are over 100 reuse organisations that employ over 4,900 staff, supporting over 56,000 volunteers, trainees and people on work placements. The activity of reuse creates employment, training and volunteering opportunities for those most marginalised in our society, whether because someone is experiencing long-term unemployment, is an ex-offender, or they are experiencing mental health problems.
The impact of the new guidance will also extend far beyond reuse organisations. It is set to also benefit regulators, suppliers, manufacturers and producers, Local Authorities and in particular, the consumer of the reused items.