Kildare householders are being urged to bring their electrical and electronic waste to a set of free collection days.
The events, hosted by WEEE Ireland with support from Kildare County Council, are being carried out to help the county meet recycling targets which have increased since the first lockdown in 2020.
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.
Commenting on the news, WEEE Ireland CEO Leo Donovan said: “In Kildare, and across Ireland, we are buying more electrical goods than ever – with the annual tonnage on the market rising from 15 kilograms (kg) a head in 2016 to 22kg a head last year.”
“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 Kildare have contributed greatly to e-waste recycling every year, and we want to encourage that trend,” he added.
A surge in lockdown spring cleaning saw 1,248 tonnes of electrical waste collected in Kildare by the country’s largest recycling scheme in 2021, despite Covid-19 and travel restrictions still in place for much of the year.
5.61kg of e-waste was recycled per person in Kildare last year – falling short of the 2020 collection rate of 5.71 and the national average of 10.86 per person.
However, the county’s e-waste target for 2022 has increased to 13kg per person, to reflect yearly increases in electrical goods consumption, accelerated by Covid-19.
“94% 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.”
In 2021, the equivalent of 231,179 tonnes of CO2 emissions were avoided by recycling e-waste through the WEEE Ireland Scheme as opposed to landfilling. That is the equivalent of the annual carbon consumption of 4,624 hectares of trees
Dara Wyer, Environmental Awareness Officer for Kildare County Council, said that recycling e-Waste is ‘incredibly beneficial’ for both the environment and the economy.
He explained: “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 Kildare householders to hopefully recycle a record-breaking amount of electronic waste in 2022.”
The events will take place by the Tesco carpark, Maynooth on Saturday, July 2, from 10am to 4pm, and Naas Racecourse from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, July 9.
WEEE (Waste, Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Ireland accounts for over two thirds of all national waste electrical and electronics collection activity on behalf of 1,296 producer members.
The organisation is a not-for-profit organisation, founded by Producers of electrical and electronic appliances to help them comply with the legal obligations imposed by the EU Battery Directive 2006/66/EC and WEEE Directive 2012/19/EU.
It’s objective is to provide cost effective quality compliance for producers to meet the requirements of the regulations whilst minimising the cost to the consumer.