A clever recycling idea

Sticking old mobile phones in envelopes and packing them off to be recycled isn’t new, and it’s been a handy wheeze for charities for years. But while Greenwich council struggles with its new rubbish collection system (Why haven’t I received my bin? Did you complete a bin requirement form?), helping to trash the reputation of recycling, I noticed something nifty over the border in Bexley.

There, every household is getting some envelopes from simplydrop.co.uk – who’ll accept MP3 players, mobile phones and digital cameras for recycling, and will send you (or a nominated charity) at least a fiver per item. It’s a brilliantly simple idea, reminds people that there’s something for them in recycling their old digital goods, and having the backing of a local council means more people will be able to pick up the envelopes. They’ll also take old batteries, which is a better idea than Greenwich’s solution of having bins scattered in a few random locations.

So far it’s a pilot, taking place just in Bexley and Camden, but hopefully it’ll be rolled out to other areas soon. For now, there doesn’t seem to be any block on you ordering envelopes yourself, though, wherever you live.

(Or if you’re happy with your booty going to charity, you can get mobile phone-only envelopes in So Organic in Greenwich Market which donate £2.50 to the Woodland Trust and put you in a prize draw.)