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Oxford Brookes supports the Recycle Your Vapes campaign

The Recycle Your Vapes campaign, an initiative aimed at the responsible disposal of used vapes, has extended its reach in collaboration with Oxford Brookes University. 10 vape recycling bins have been installed at locations across their campuses in Oxford.

The campaign, which began in November, is part of a broader Oxfordshire-wide effort to combat the environmental impact of discarded vapes.

The service provides convenient and simple ways for disposable vapes to be recycled properly. The collection bins and other new services around the county have already stopped almost 20,000 vapes from being thrown away, where they would harm the environment. This includes avoiding litter bins, general waste, or mixed recycling where they pose contamination risks and can lead to fires in waste facilities or waste and recycling vehicles.

Look out for the 3-foot high, clear plastic tube vape recycling collection points on campus and at other recycling collection points at small retailers, pubs, and cafes across Oxford, Banbury, Bicester, and Kidlington. The tubes have bright pink recycle your vapes posters and images of vapes on the posters.

Material Focus, a not-for-profit organisation spearheading the Recycle Your Electricals campaign, of which Recycle Your Vapes is part, has provided £40,000 funding for the project. The scheme operates in partnership with Oxford City Council, ODS, Oxfordshire County Council, and Cherwell District Council.

Councillor Nigel Chapman, Cabinet Member for Citizen Focused Services and Council Companies said:

“Statistics reveal the pressing need for initiatives such as Recycle Your Vapes. In the UK alone, around five million single-use vapes are discarded weekly; that’s about eight vapes every second. In Oxfordshire alone there are an estimated 50,000 vapes binned weekly."

“Disposable vapes contain precious metals like lithium, which requires safe disposal methods. Improper disposal poses risks to staff, the public, vehicles, sorting facilities, and operators, with incidents of vehicle fires recorded in the past. We had one such incident in one of our waste and recycling vehicles only last year."

“I want to thank Oxford Brookes for getting behind the campaign. Together we’ll ensure that more disposable vapes are disposed of correctly.”

Councillor Pete Sudbury, Deputy Leader of Oxfordshire County Council with responsibility for Climate Change, Environment, and Future Generations added,

“Since this campaign was launched in November, more than 10,000 disposable vapes have been deposited at our household waste recycling centres. It’s great to know that people are using this service and it is great news that it is being expanded with more recycling points being provided around the Oxford Brookes campus."

“However, we all know that single-use vapes, each with its own lithium-ion battery, are about as unsustainable as it gets, and the sooner a national ban is put in place, the better.”

Scott Butler, Executive Director of Material Focus, commented:

“We were pleased to be working with three of Oxfordshire’s councils helping their project to become the first kerbside vape recycling scheme in the UK. The expansion of their collection bins to Oxford Brookes University campus was the logical next step and we can’t wait to see the results.”

Further information on the campaign:

The campaign has established various collection points:

  • kerbside collection of vapes in Oxford and Cherwell as part of the regular small electrical recycling service, to be placed in a clear bag on top of the blue or green bin lid.

  • installation of up to 60 new recycling collection points for vapes at small retailers, pubs, and cafes across Oxford, Banbury, Bicester, and Kidlington.

  • introduction of new pink public recycling bins at each of the seven Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) in Oxfordshire, including Redbridge.

Oxford Brookes University has joined forces with the Recycle Your Vapes campaign, by introducing vape recycling points in and around its campuses. This collaboration aims to simplify the process of vape recycling for residents, students, and visitors alike.

For further information, please visit: Oxford City Council Vape Recycling

For a comprehensive list of vape recycling locations, please visit: Google Maps - Vape Recycling Points

About Material Focus

This project is being supported by the European Recycling Platform (ERP) UK producer compliance scheme.

Vaping is not recommended except to support smokers to quit smoking, where they can be very effective and are less harmful than smoking cigarettes. Oxfordshire residents who smoke can get free support from the local stop smoking service and free vape starter kits or other quit aids to support their quit.

Details are available at Stop Smoking In Oxfordshire, Quit Smoking Today - Stop For Life Oxon