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Whirlpool celebrates reaching reuse milestone

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Local kitchen appliance manufacturer Whirlpool with its brands of Hotpoint and Indesit has announced that in the last 15 years over 850,000 appliances have been refurbished or recycled through its onsite processes at the company’s Peterborough site.

The announcement comes as Whirlpool welcomed a peloton of five cyclists – on pedal and e-bikes – at the start of the thirteenth stage of the REPIC WEEE Cycle Network event on Wednesday 14th June 2023.

Whirlpool is a founding member of REPIC, a Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) producer compliance scheme established by producers to handle their WEEE recycling obligations. REPIC is undertaking the event to mark the 15 year anniversary of the UK’s WEEE regulations .

Members of the REPIC team were joined by Defra’s Paul Hallett on the thirteenth stage of the 15 day cycling event and welcomed on site by Whirlpool’s Environmental Manager, Steve Wilde and Supply Chain Director, Alistair Dobson.

The peloton is travelling as far as Stevenage on Wednesday 14th June, a distance of 70 miles, with the event aiming to bring together the wider sector to celebrate the achievements of those involved in the reuse and recycling of waste electricals. In total, the 15 day, 15 location and 15 great stories event, will cover a distance of over 850 miles, from Alness in the Highlands to Sittingbourne, Kent.

Celebrating 15 great stories along the route, and joining up a network of AATFs, Local Authority sites, 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.

Responding to growing consumer interest, Whirlpool has for a number of years, voluntarily implemented a spares and repairs programme that provide consumers with greater access to the materials necessary to repair their products. It has continued to expand the operation and has invested more than £2million in the last few years to deliver a more circular economy and encourage recycling and reuse.

While on site, all the cyclists were given a guided tour of the refurbishment and repair centre at the Peterborough site.

Ian Moverley, UK Communications Director for Whirlpool, said: “In the last 15 years we have made great strides in moving towards a complete circular production process. 85% of what has passed through the site has been given a second life, with the remaining 130,000 units recycled by our on-site recycling partner. We have also collected a further 165,000 tonnes of appliances to be recycled since 2010, providing the opportunity for the materials to be reused in new products. As well as opening three in-house factory outlet stores that are open to the public in Peterborough, Gateshead and Yate. We hope to open our fourth by the end of the year.

“We have for many years responded and adjusted to the growing demand for right to repair and offered greater access to more cost effective appliances. The 15 WEEE anniversary provided us with the perfect milestone to share just how responsive we have been and will continue to be to meet the demands of today’s consumer.”

Louise Grantham, Chief Executive of REPIC, adds: “The recently introduced right to repair legislation placed the spotlight on the requirement for manufacturers to provide spares, repairs and reuse. For many REPIC members, like Whirlpool, it was a clear opportunity to showcase the extensive repair and reuse facilities that have already been in operation for many years.

“Today’s visit is the perfect platform to share the collective achievements of many producers, who wish to ensure that repairs are done to the right standard, using the right parts. REPIC is supporting its producer scheme members with their refurbishment and recycling processes and we’re delighted to share the milestone achievement with Whirlpool on today’s visit.”

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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