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Gateshead business leading the way with recycling scheme for vaping products

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The UK vaping industry has expanded significantly in recent years and the rise in usage has spurred on Gateshead’s GAP Group to launch a solution for the 1.3 million vapes that are thrown away each week.

The recycling and resource management company based on Nest Road has launched a new vape collection service and recycling process to help provide safe disposal and recycling to extract the valuable materials inside. The new services took centre stage as ten cyclists rode into the company’s Gateshead’s site around 1:00pm on Thursday 8th June 2023, during day seven of the 15 day, 15 location, 15 great stories REPIC WEEE Cycle Network event.

The event marks the 15 year anniversary of the UK’s WEEE regulations, and the five staff members from REPIC, the UK’s leading Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) producer compliance scheme, supported by five employees from GAP Group, are part of a team of cyclists travelling a total of 850 miles across 15 days, visiting 15 locations involved in the daily reuse, repair and recycling of waste electricals.

Day seven of the REPIC WEEE Cycle has seen the peloton travel from Morpeth to Gateshead, a distance of over 30 miles. As part of the event, all ten riders stopped around midday to enjoy a tour of the Gateshead site as they had reached the midway point in the challenge. The cyclists were able to view first hand the recently introduced vape recycling process, and the company’s soon to be commissioned 50,000sq ft plastic processing plant, which will contribute to reducing UK plastic exports and help with the drive to a more circular economy.

Celebrating 15 great stories along the route, and joining up a network of AATFs, Local Authority sites and repair and reuse initiatives, the REPIC WEEE Cycle Network event is also providing an opportunity to look forward to what lies ahead in both the forthcoming WEEE consultation and the transition to a more circular economy.

Challenges, adaptations and investment are a key part of remaining competitive in the delivery of waste recycling services. REPIC appreciates the significant amount of work required to deliver these services and the role GAP Group has played in improving standards and quality of services in both collecting waste electricals from local authority sites and treatment of end of life electricals.

The speed with which GAP Group has responded to the requirement to recycle the fastest growing waste stream of e-cigarettes and vapes is just one of many examples of the way in which the North East company has adapted its operations within the waste electrical sector.

The company’s new collection service – the vapes tube – enables retailers to provide their customers with a convenient and safe option to recycle their vapes.

Peter Moody, Managing Director of GAP Group, commented on the new vapes collection and recycling service: “With over 67.6 million vapes thrown away each year, we can now facilitate the collection and transport of vapes from retailers to our recycling facilities to extract the valuable materials such as lithium, cobalt, nickel and manganese inside. The items might be called “disposable” but they can and should be recycled as the lithium alone in these items, if recycled correctly, provides enough metal to make batteries for 1,200 electric cars.”

Louise Grantham, Chief Executive of REPIC, comments: “We’re proud to partner with such a forward thinking, rapidly growing company with high treatment standards. Operating as a trusted partner with shared values and strong customer care at the core of their operations has provided REPIC members with the peace of mind that their end of life electricals are being properly treated.”

Peter Moody, Managing Director of GAP Group, continued: “We’re really honoured that the REPIC WEEE Cycle Network took the time out to visit our operations and look forward to continue to seek further opportunities to continue to improving standards across the sector. We’ve enjoyed working together and look forward to developing our relationship further

The REPIC WEEE Cycle Network event will conclude on Friday 16th June when the peloton of cyclists pulls into the 15th and final destination in Sittingbourne, Kent around midday. The cyclists will have completed 850 miles across 15 days and raised a total of £15k for local good causes along the way.

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