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E-scrap recyclers in Ireland trying to keep up with growing waste stream

Ireland witnessed a 10% increase in the amount of end-of-life electronics recycled at local authority centres last year, according to new data from WEEE Ireland. This is the equivalent of half a million small appliances.

There are currently 90 local e-scrap authority recycling centres across Ireland, all of which are open and free of charge to the public. And yet, the recent 5km travel restriction is said to have caused a spike in e-scrap dumped in general waste bins last month – fuelling a 7% decrease in electrical recycling compared with January 2020.

‘Irish people’s behaviours and attitudes were gradually improving towards the recycling of e-waste last year. Unfortunately, in January, we saw a reverse in that behaviour and we would ask people to seriously consider the danger and environmental impact of getting rid of e-waste in household bins,’ says WEEE Ireland ceo Leo Donovan.

‘We would encourage people during the current level 5 COVID-19 restrictions to use this time to gather up any end-of-life electrical items and waste batteries in their homes and once restrictions are lifted, to take them to their local authority recycling centre, electrical retail shop or hardware store,’ he adds.  ‘For those living near these centres, which are located within close proximity to most urban centres, there has never been a better time to drop your e-waste off with queues smaller than ever before.’

Meanwhile, the country’s largest e-scrap recycling scheme urges that for Ireland to comply with EU targets, electronics recycling should have increased by over 10% on last year’s tonnages to keep pace with the growing volume of electrical appliances entering the Irish market every year.

‘That’s why we need people to support a transition towards a more circular economy, which aims to keep our resources in circulation for much longer,’ Donovan concludes.

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