Recycling services offered for hair irons and corks

Two businesses have launched recycling services for products which are not traditionally recycled through regular collection services.

(l-r) Mark Russell of LSS and Martin Rae of Cloud Nine
(l-r) Mark Russell of LSS and Martin Rae of Cloud Nine

Leeds-based waste firm LSS Waste Management has set up the haircare industry’s ‘first’ hair iron recycling service, in partnership with Harrogate electronic hair tool manufacturer, Cloud Nine.

Meanwhile, London-based company First Mile has launched a new RecycleBox for drinks corks and drinks cartons.

The recycling service for hair straighteners, which is being hailed as an ‘industry first’, has seen Cloud Nine team up with LSS in a bid to help prevent 1.5 million hair straighteners from going to landfill by 2022.

The move last week (November 14) comes as producers look to boost collection rates of small WEEE and the government looks to review the WEEE regulations to incentivise more recycling.


The recycling service is free of charge, regardless of brand or place of purchase, and is easy to use, according to LSS.

Those with hair straighteners that need recycling can download a pre-paid postage label from Cloud Nine’s website, securely package their straighteners, and then drop the package off at their nearest post office.

Once received, the products will be stripped down for parts and any waste will be sent to LSS Waste’s site in Leeds where they’ll be disposed of in accordance with WEEE regulations.

Martin Rae, managing director of Cloud Nine, said: “The amount of e-waste going to landfill, paired with the lack of awareness surrounding the severity of this waste stream growth is concerning. We know that the hair and beauty industry needs to take action, hence our mission to lead the industry in becoming more sustainable through our commitments to recycling and more.”

Mark Russell, business manager at LSS Waste, explained that e-waste was not hard to recycle but it was not easy for the public to access WEEE recycling services.

He said: “In most cases it would need to be either taken to a household waste recycling facility or a home collection arranged. Unfortunately, these services can often be inconvenient to access, which has led to the staggering amount of e-waste that ends up in landfill every year.”

Mr Russell added that he hoped more producers would follow suit with similar recycling schemes.


First Mile has meanwhile added corks and cartons to the list of materials accepted under its established RecycleBox service – the former just in time for Christmas.

First Mile’s cork recycling scheme has been launched just in time for the festive period

RecycleBox provides a paid-for courier service to both businesses and consumers. The box can be filled with hard-to-recycle items or items that are not traditionally recycled through household or commercial waste services – ranging from coffee cups to coat hangers.

Corks collected by First Mile through RecycleBox will be either re-used as new corks, or granulated and re-manufactured into new products, such as cork tiles and cork flooring or cork products, the company said.

Food and drink cartons meanwhile will be sent to the UK’s only dedicated beverage carton recycling facility.  Here, the three layers of paper, plastic and aluminium that they are made of will be separated to make coreboard, the material often used in packaging for foods such as gravy and hot chocolate tubs, it explained.

The company is also trialling carton recycling as a kerbside service for businesses, with some of its key deli and coffee shop customers who are looking to maximise sustainability, recycling and waste reduction as we head into the New Year.

Founder and chief executive of First Mile, Bruce Bratley, said: “We’re really excited by the new addition of corks and cartons to our suite of RecycleBox material streams.”

The move comes after Leeds became the latest local authority to offer carton collections at the kerbside (see story) and after carton manufacturers called for more support for carton recycling (see story).

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