WEEE Ireland annual report shows record levels of recycling

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Household appliances make up almost half of returns

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14 June 2018 | 0

Electrical recycler WEEE Ireland has reported a record year, with 35,708 tonnes of e-waste and 874 tonnes of waste batteries from Irish householders, consumers and businesses recycled last year.

Among the items recycled were and estimated 3.2 million lamps and lightbulbs, 195,000 televisions and monitors and almost 12 million small appliances.

The figures were revealed in WEEE Ireland’s annual report position as the country’s leading electrical and battery recycling scheme, continuing to surpass EU targets.

Almost half (48%) 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.

Leo Donovan, CEO, 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.

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.

More than two-thirds (68%) 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% 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 – the equivalent to two and a half Eiffel towers.

Some 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.

WEEE Ireland also surpassed EU targets in waste portable battery collections, where the quantity collected increased from 812 to 874 tonnes – marking another year of success for the LauraLynn ‘Every Battery Counts’ campaign.

The progress is also evident on the collection of small waste equipment and appliances – known as Small WEEE – with takeback increasing from 26-32% in 2017 following the successful Small Things Matter campaign that is set to continue throughout 2018.

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