Recycling starts with you

This is how we recycle household appliances and other electricals

Recycling household appliances and other electricals: how does it all work? Together with the help of specialised and licensed recyclers, Recupel is able to recover up to 90% of used and raw materials. By doing so, we ensure that discarded electricals do not end up in the environment, and that the raw materials are reused elsewhere.

Collection of discarded electricals 

You can drop off your household appliances and electricals at a Recupel point in a recycling park, in an electrical shop, in some supermarkets and DIY shops or in a partner second-hand shop (re-use centre). 

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Step 1: sort reusable electricals

First, we assess what is reusable and what is not. Reusable electricals are given a second life through partner second-hand shops (possibly after being repaired). Electricals that are beyond repair are recycled by authorised recyclers in Belgium. 

Step 2: remove harmful substances and recover raw materials

Recyclers first sort all electricals according to type, e.g. broken fridges, old mobile phones, printers, monitors, etc. These are handled separately as special permits are required for each type of recycling. Then, specialists manually strip the electricals of all harmful substances. Fridges and freezers contain CFCs, freon gas, other gases and oil, for example. These should certainly not end up in the environment. By removing CFCs, we can avoid worsening the greenhouse effect. Recyclers also manually remove other pollutants such as cadmium, PCBs and lead. Recyclers also extract valuable raw materials such as gold, silver and titanium. Did you know that 1000 kg of old mobile phones contain approximately 300 g of gold? By extracting gold from old mobiles, we can reduce the amount that comes from traditional mining. This is important as raw materials are being depleted at an increasingly alarming rate. 

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Step 3: what’s left of your electricals is processed accordingly

Everything that remains is now destined for the shredder. This machine grinds everything into very fine pieces. Another machine then sorts between steel, non-ferrous metal, aluminium, glass and plastic particles. At this point, everything is separated and ready to be reused. Thanks to this process, we recycle up to 90% of discarded electrical appliances and electronic devices.