The best Spring mornings are the ones where you wake up to a cup of piping hot tea. Electric kettles are the quickest way to achieve this, providing a no-hassle, modern experience. Once your electric kettle’s life dies out, how do we recycle or fix this device?
Electric kettles should not be thrown away or recycled. Ensure that the kettle can be donated or repaired first. If it can’t be repaired or donated, take it to an e-waste company. Because of the kettle’s electrical components, recycling centers do not have the materials to dispose of it properly.
To find out more about e-waste, its impact on the environment, and the benefits of repairing your electric kettle, continue reading below.
When disposing of an old but functioning appliance, it is considered electronic waste, and the electric kettle falls under this category.
Electronic waste, otherwise known as e-waste, is a term used to describe electronics that are nearing but have not ended their working lives. 40 million metric tons of e-waste are produced around the world each year, and 50 to 80 percent of e-waste is destroyed and dispersed. So, most e-waste will likely end up in landfills. (Source)
The good news is that electric kettles are sturdy products. With it taking an average of two minutes to boil water and consuming 144 kilojoules of electricity, the electric kettle is considered 80% efficient. (Source)
Repairing an Electric Kettle
Because of how dangerous e-waste is and reliable electric kettles are, it is important to see if your appliance can be repaired before recycling it. If you are wanting to put your skills to the test, it is possible for you to repair your electric kettle on your own.
To repair an electric kettle on your own, we need to understand the basics first.
An electric kettle is made up of a base and a jar. The base is how the water gets heated so quickly, consisting of a positive charge and a negative charge. This means that when the base is plugged in, the power source receives both charges. Then voila, the water is boiling!
Inside the jar, there is a heating element, led indicator, and electric heater. The heating element produces the heat within the device, the electric heater controls the specific temperature and stops the heat, and the thermostat connects the two. (Source)
90 percent of the time when your electric kettle breaks, the kettle’s thermostat is not working properly and needs to be replaced. That last 10 percent is when your heating element goes wrong. When you are buying repairs for your kettle, double-check your kettle brand so you can buy the correct parts. Check your kettle’s website for resources, tips, and contact information. (Source)
If you and appliance workers have tried everything to fix your electric kettle and have had no success, some repair shops will buy your old electric kettle at a very low price so they can use it for parts. That option always works and is a confirmed way to recycle!
Recycling an Electric Kettle
The easiest way to recycle an appliance is to take your kettle to an appliance repair shop. They will be happy to use the electric kettle for parts. Other donation companies may accept your old appliances, such as Best Buy, Staples, Goodwill, or Deseret Industries.
However, always do your research before donating your electric kettle. Sometimes based on location and conditions, these companies will not accept old appliances or other forms of e-waste. (Source)
How Does an Electric Kettle Get Recycled?
When you recycle an electric appliance such as a kettle, it will be disassembled for parts and disposed of properly. The e-waste recycling process consists of collection, storage, dismantling, mechanical separation, and recovery.
That sounds like a lot! But let’s break it down.
When you recycle your electric kettle, it will be disposed of in recycling bins and put with similar items. They will be stored safely until they are ready to be dismantled.
Once they are ready to be dismantled, the appliance will be manually sorted into usable parts. If a part cannot be used, it will be shredded.
The next step is mechanical separation, where the parts of your electric kettle will be placed under a powerful magnet that is able to pull out useful metals such as steel and iron. The parts may be placed through water separation which further purifies the usable materials.
The final step in e-waste recycling for your electric kettle is recovery. This process is one more of a sorting process, where parts that can be reused immediately will be sold while others will be further processed and put into a landfill.
When it comes to recycling, the process can be meticulous. There are many safety measures taken place, especially because e-waste can have drastic effects on the planet if placed improperly in a landfill.
If your electric kettle is still in working condition, there are more options to choose from in terms of donation versus recycling.
The Salvation Army will use every donation within the community. As a religious-based institution, Salvation Army focuses on using a wide variety of donations, such as appliances, furniture, and clothing. (Source)
Desert Industries is another thrift store option that will accept old appliances. If an appliance like an electric kettle cannot be used, it will be properly recycled through the e-waste process or contributed to humanitarian efforts. (Source)
If you have an old electric appliance, it is crucial to take the proper steps to dispose of it. It is encouraged to try to repair your kettle by going through an appliance repair shop or following online instructions. If you know the brand of your electric kettle, find their website for troubleshooting tips.
If recycling is the best option for your electric kettle circumstance, conduct research in your local area to assure that the appliance can be recycled properly. If you want to donate your electric kettle, any nearby thrift store can take care of your appliance. If it cannot be used, it will be recycled. Some cities will also accept electric kettle donations.
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