Record Levels of Electrical and Battery Waste Recycling in Ireland in 2017
WEEE Ireland, Ireland’s largest electrical and battery recycling scheme powered the most successful year in its history in 2017. WEEE Ireland recycled 35,708 tonnes of e-waste and 874 tonnes of waste batteries from Irish householders, consumers and businesses last year.
It is a new record for WEEE Ireland to achieve a collection rate surpassing 10kg of e-waste per head of the population. Among the items recycled were and estimated 3.2 million lamps and lightbulbs, 195,000 televisions and monitors and almost 12 million small appliances. 48 percent of all the e-waste recycled was large household appliances such as dishwashers, ovens and washing machines which can be returned to retailers for recycling on delivery of new appliances.
Commenting on the best year to date in the history of the WEEE Ireland compliance scheme,Leo Donovan, CEO of WEEE Ireland, said: “It’s hugely satisfying for everyone involved with WEEE Ireland that our 2017 report card shows our approach to Irish WEEE compliance remains best-in-class. It’s also reassuring all small electrical waste is recycled at our operator’s state of the art facilities right here in Tullamore, recovering resources for use again in manufacturing. All other waste appliances and batteries collected by WEEE Ireland are prepared for recycling in Ireland with final processing carried out at specialist partner plants.”
The annual report confirms WEEE Ireland’s position as the country’s leading electrical and battery recycling scheme, continuing to surpass EU targets. By providing excellence in recycling, WEEE Ireland is driving the highest standards in compliance services and yielding environmental results that Ireland can be immensely proud of. Ireland and all other European Member States have new Circular Economy legislation to implement over the next 24 months. This will increase municipal waste recycling and recovery targets but also focus activity more on waste prevention, repair and reuse as well as ecodesign and recovery.
68 percent of all household and dual use electrical and electronic equipment placed on the market by WEEE Ireland members was recycled in 2017, ensuring WEEE Ireland areas remain on track to exceed the 65 percent target by 2019. Through the proper environmental management of the 35,708 tonnes of e-waste WEEE Ireland collected, 18,000 tonnes of iron were recovered. This is equivalent to two and a half Eiffel towers. 830 tonnes of copper were recovered, which equates to nearly 27 Statues of liberty. WEEE Ireland also captured 120,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions by recycling fridges and freezers at WEEELABEX certified specialised facilities.
Leo Donovan added: “We are extremely proud of these results and want to thank every person who recycled even one item of e-waste. However, we can’t become complacent. We will only achieve long-term change and benefits for the environment if we continue to manage our e-waste responsibly. At WEEE Ireland, we have a number of programmes and initiatives ongoing to ensure that people are informed and have easy access to recycle their WEEE.”
WEEE Ireland also surpassed EU targets in waste portable battery collections, where the quantity collected increased from 812 to 874 tonnes. This marks yet another year of success for the LauraLynn ‘Every Battery Counts’ campaign and is testament to how the ‘Blue Box’ has become synonymous with battery recycling in schools, retailers and businesses across Ireland. The progress is also evident on the collection of small waste equipment and appliances – known as Small WEEE – with takeback increasing from 26 to 32 percent in 2017 following the successful Small Things Matter campaign that is set to continue throughout 2018.
To read the report in full, click here.