The Good Guys retail chain has teamed up with Dyson to encourage consumers to go large on recycling during the month of March with a vacuum cleaner recycling initiative for local communities around its stores.According to Dyson, the initiative has been created in an effort to reduce the estimated 1.2 million vacuum cleaners which make their way to Australian landfill sites each year.
In the UK and Europe, appliance retailers are legally required to reclaim products from customers at the end of their life, but such legislation has not made its way to Australian shores as yet.
In Australia, less than 20% of businesses offer this option to customers, and many consumers simply don’t know what to do with them when it comes to replacing their household appliances, according to environment foundation, Planet Ark.
Brad Gray, Planet Ark’s campaign manager, says although it is not yet a legal responsibility, manufacturers are duty bound to support the cause.
He said: “It is important that manufacturers take responsibility for their products at the end of their life by putting in place collection and recycling programs. It’s not yet a legal responsibility but it is a moral one.”
The eco-trade campaign gives local residents the opportunity to trade-in, rather than trash their old vacuum cleaner, so it can be recycled responsibly.
Vacuum cleaners can be dropped off at The Good Guys store during March, and in return for the machine, customers will receive a discount off a new Dyson vacuum cleaner.
According to Dyson, the biggest environmental impact of domestic appliances is ‘energy in use’, which in vacuum cleaners, accounts for approximately 90% of a machines impact.
James Dyson, the founder of the Dyson group, has used responsible engineering as part of its philosophy since the company began, by getting rid of the disposable dust bag from vacuum cleaners in 1992, and by designing out ideas that are wasteful in their use of materials, energy and consumables.
The result is that its machines outperform others and have a lower impact on the environment.
The average energy consumption of a vacuum cleaner is 1800W but Dyson has been working to reduce the Wattage of its motors. Its smallest upright has a 650W motor, which equals the pick-up performance of a full-sized Dyson through its Radix Cyclone technology and compact design.
Apple is another company that designs in this way. Its Macbook Air is an ultra compact machine which reduces its material footprint. While it reduces the amount of material used to produce the product, it gives consumers the added benefit of having a lighter product to carry around.
In addition to encouraging the recycling campaign, Dyson and Good Guys are also aiming to educate consumers on reducing their environmental impact. Simple tips include turning off lights and switching to energy efficient lighting, switching off appliances that aren’t in use at the power source and recycling as many household appliances as possible.
Other ways include using re-usable shopping bags, choosing low greenhouse impact transport options such as walking, cycling and public transport instead of the car.