CRAZY WEDNESDAY: GETTING THE RECYCLING BUZZ

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Now, according to the EU Waste Electrical Equipment Regulations, one thing that the “Dumped” volunteers should not find amongst the landfill is a discarded vibrator. In fact, all electronic and electrical equipment in the UK should be taken to a designated recycling centre.

Unsurprisingly, though, many people are a little embarrassed to be seen at the local municipal dump surrendering their old sex toys, and they are more likely to be put in the kitchen bin. Many contain circuit boards, which contain toxic materials such as lead and mercury, and are of course even more hazardous if the batteries are left in. Since an estimated 43% of Americans possess a vibe that they no longer use, the number in circulation is potentially quite high, and these would likely otherwise simply be put into domestic refuse.

Hence, the adult product store LoveHoney has come up with and ingenious scheme – the “Rabbit Amnesty”. In return for surrendering an old vibrator by post, they will send a £1 donation to the conservation organisation World Land Trust. If that isn’t enough to give you a warm feeling inside, they will also sell you a brand new replacement toy at half the usual price. The items collected will be stripped down and as much of the materials recovered as possible sent for recycling.

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World Land Trust works to save rain forests and other biologically important world sites from destruction, by actually buying up the land, and then uses the expertise of local groups to manage the land. By investing in and supporting the people who actually live on the land, the charity believes that they are able effectively to protect the sites for ever. To date, the Trust has bought over 350,000 acres of countryside in Ecuador, the Philippines and Costa Rica among other places.

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The charity’s patron is the iconic wildlife film maker and campaigner, Sir David Attenborough. Whilst this sends my mind spinning to an imagined film of a landfill site, with Sir David crouched down and whispering to the camera, “Here we see the destruction wreaked by lesser-spotted rampant revolving rabbit…”, YouTube has a really gorgeous little video that has the scheme being explained by an animated white rabbit (the long-eared, fluffy-tailed kind).

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This has all the potential to be just a titillating gimmick, but I’m actually incredibly impressed with the quality of information on LoveHoney’s website. They seem to have really thought about a genuine problem, and set out to solve it in an appealing and practical way.

It’s a great idea, and I genuinely wish that all the sites I look at for information were as thorough and helpful. Even if you have no interest in any kind of rabbit, rampant or not, or what happens to it, this page on the site is well worth bookmarking as an excellent compendium of UK recycling links.

Amanda

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