Leo Donovan, CEO of WEEE Ireland has warned that unsustainable targets need to change to include reuse and repair of electrical items in a circular economy
An average of 9.7kg of e-waste was recycled per person in Offaly last year according to figures released by WEEE Ireland.
This falls short of the county’s 2020 collection rate of 10.8kg. The 2021 national average is 10.9kg per person.
A total of 753 tonnes of electrical waste were collected in Offaly in 2021 by the country’s largest recycling scheme.
“People in Offaly have contributed greatly to e-waste recycling every year, and we want to encourage that trend,” said WEEE Ireland CEO Leo Donovan.
“One of the key habits consumers are encouraged to embrace is to stop hoarding end-of-life electronic goods – estimated at 4-5kg of e-waste per person.
“So many of these appliances and devices can be repaired, re-used or re-gifted, but if they cannot, make sure you recycle them for free.
“Our consumption is only going in one direction. In 2021, an average of 12 household electrical products were sold for every person in Ireland.
“If we are buying more electronics, we need to adopt a one plug in, one plug out mantra as we do not have enough raw materials in the ground to keep up with growing global demand.
“It is now more important than ever to rescue e-waste after consumption of new electrical devices such as mobile phones, computers, small kitchen appliances and white goods soared during the pandemic.
“After the safe removal of hazardous elements, 82% of all material that we collect is recovered for use again in manufacturing through both indigenous operators and specialist processors in Europe.
“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.”
WEEE Ireland is one of the best performing recycling schemes in Europe, with a record 18.7 million waste electrical items collected in 2021, the organisation’s annual report has revealed.
127,000 fridges and 205,000 TVs and monitors were recovered, as well as over 2.3 million lightbulbs in a total takeback of 38,464 tonnes – 57% of the average goods sold over a three-year period.
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
WEEE Ireland accounts for over two thirds of all national waste electrical and electronics collection activity on behalf of 1,296 producer members.
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