WEEE Ireland breaks waste electrical and battery recycling records

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WEEE Ireland collected 36,131 tonnes of e-waste in 2018, making it the most successful year to date

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26 June 2019 | 0

Irish consumers and businesses have once again surpassed national targets for electrical and battery recycling, according to WEEE Ireland.

As Ireland’s largest electrical and battery recycling scheme, WEEE collected a total of 36,131 tonnes of e-waste and 856 tonnes of waste batteries for recycling, making 2018 its most successful year to date.

An estimated 3.2 million lamps and lightbulbs, 195,000 televisions and monitors, and 13 million small appliances were recycled. Almost half (48%), of all the e-waste was large household appliances, which can be returned to retailers for free recycling when new appliances are delivered.

These recycling efforts saved the equivalent of 220,000 tonnes CO2 emissions, compared to the items being sent to a landfill.

All e-waste was environmentally managed, which allowed WEEE to recover almost 19,000 tonnes of iron and 827 tonnes of copper.

WEEE has achieved a 65% collection rate on behalf of its members, a year ahead of the EU WEEE Directive target in 2019.

Leo Donovan, CEO of WEEE Ireland, said: “It’s incredibly encouraging to see our continued progress for 2018, with Ireland again best-in-class in Europe for collection of our electrical and electronic waste.

“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.”

European member states must implement Circular Economy legislation over the next 12 months, raising municipal waste recycling and recovery targets. Waste prevention, repair, reuse and eco-design will also be emphasised.

Moving towards this legislation “it’s amazing to see 83% of material collected be recovered for use again in manufacturing. However, we can’t become complacent,” said Donovan. “We will only achieve long-term change and benefits for the environment if we continue to manage our e-waste responsibly.

“Maintaining the 65% collection rate in 2019 and beyond means other operators must play their part too. Increasing consumer spend on electronic goods also means WEEE Ireland alone will have to collect 12% more e-waste in 2019 to match our achievement next year. We have a number of programmes and initiatives ongoing to ensure that people are informed and have easy access to recycle their WEEE.”

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