Householders across Connemara are being urged to bring their electrical and electronic waste to a series of free e-waste half day collection events across the county to help meet recycling targets which have increased since the first lockdown in 2020.
The e-waste collection events will be touring through Galway throughout May and June, hosted by WEEE Ireland and supported by Galway County Council.
All household items with a plug or a battery will be accepted free of charge, including old washing machines, TVs, toasters and kettles, electronic tools and toys, cables, IT equipment, mobile phones, remote controls, and even watches.
Thursday May 19 will see the events kick off throughout the West of the county at Carna Bringbanks Site, beside the church, from 10am-1pm, before moving to Leitir Mór at the car park opposite the church from 4pm-7pm.
On Tuesday May 24 the events take place at Cumann GAA Mícheál Breathnach, Indreabhán from 10am-1pm and the Cumann GAA, An Spidéal from 4pm-7pm.
Thursday May 26 will see the collection taking place at Moycullen from the Handball Alley at the GAA Pitch from 10am-1pm.
Further events are also scheduled for east of the county throughout May and June.
“In Galway, and across Ireland, we are buying more electrical goods than ever – with the annual tonnage on the market rising from 15kg a head in 2016 to 21kg a head last year,” said WEEE Ireland CEO Leo Donovan.
“Shopping stats during the pandemic showed a surge in spend on new electrical devices like mobile phones, computers, small kitchen appliances and white goods.
“With old items still lying around many households we want to offer the opportunity to recycle these for free.
“People in Galway have contributed greatly to e-waste recycling every year, and we want to encourage that trend.”
A surge in lockdown spring cleaning saw 2,881 tonnes of electrical waste collected in Galway by the country’s largest recycling scheme in 2020, despite Covid-19 and travel restrictions.
11.2kg of e-waste was recycled per person in Galway last year – exceeding both the 2019 collection rate of 10.9kg, and the 2020 national average of 10.9kg per person.
However, the county’s e-waste target for 2022 has increased to 14kg per person, to reflect yearly increases in electrical goods consumption, accelerated by Covid-19.
“84% of all material that we collect is recovered for use again in manufacturing through both indigenous operators and specialist processors in Europe,” said Mr. Donovan.
“Most end-of-life products contain metals and minerals in higher concentrations than primary resources.
“These stock of resources are the urban mines of the future, so our recycling efforts can have a significant impact on the environment.”
“Recycling e-waste is incredibly beneficial for both the environment and the economy,” said Mark Molloy, Assistant Environmental Awareness Officer at Galway County Council.
“Together, we are diverting waste from landfill, recovering raw materials for reuse and ensuring hazardous materials are safely and responsibly disposed of.
“We look forward to working with WEEE Ireland and Galway householders to hopefully recycle a record-breaking amount of electronic waste in 2022.”