This interactive was originally written in 2001 and republished in 2005. Since then there have been changes to the rules surrounding recycling, which we have included in the 2011 version shown above. For information, these were the revisions to the original:
Although the disposal of electrical items in waste is not banned, consumers are encouraged to take electrical and electronic items to special collection points, civic ammenity sites, or back to the original retailer. You can find out more about this on the WEEE regulation website.
And since 2010, retailers which sell more then 32kilos of batteries are year are obliged by law to collect them for safe disposal and recycling. You can read more about the regulations covering batteries on the DEFRA website.