Recycling Week 2016
It was Repak Recycling Week 2016, recently and Reuse Month is coming this October. These named weeks and months are established to promoted the importance of reuse and recycling. They offers you, your kids, family, friends and colleagues an opportunity to refresh on how to reduce, reuse and recycle and learn some facts about how we are doing as a nation.
Its worth noting recycling is a very effective economic development tool as well as an environment saver. The mantra of Reduce, Reuse Recycling offers direct employment opportunities and can reduce environmental concerns in communities.
When items are collected with skill and care, some can be fixed for reuse and others disassembled becoming a resource that contributes to local income, jobs, business expansion, and the local economy.
Repak recently released figures noting that 98% of Irish people know how important recycling is, yet there’s still work to be done. Even though most of us recycle, there are still issues around recycling contamination meaning that even those of us with the best intentions are actually putting the wrong things in that green bin. Contamination in your recycling bin can be as high as 36%.
Don’t Bin Electronic and Electrical Items
When you think of electronic or electrical waste equipment (WEEE) or e-waste, do you think of items like computers, radios, light bulbs, zip disks, and tapes drives, clock alarms or wall clocks, even cameras, it’s really any items with computerised parts.
These items and similar are adding to an ever increasing e-waste mountain and the pile usually starts building in people’s homes. We know electrical or electronic items are not recycled as easily or as frequently as other recyclable materials such as paper, glass or plastics. Some of the items are very large and hard to recycle, others are small and have a personal or perceived value so people don’t want to let them go!
- Generally the original owner of a laptop will keep it only three years before it is tossed. Mobile phones last 24 months or less.
- It is estimated in 2013 that 84% of all Irish households have access to a computer at home with the figure highest in Dublin region where 86% of all households have a computer (CSO 2013)
- There were 5,432,182 active mobile phone subscriptions at the end of March 2013 which works out as 1.185 mobile phones for every person in Ireland (ComReg)
- Recycling electronic and electrical equipment allows materials to be reused, and re-using materials creates new jobs.
- Recycling just one computer has a positive impact on stopping electronic waste pollution.
- Between 1950 and 2005, worldwide metals production grew six times.
- Electronic waste can contain more than 1,000 components, many of which are toxic, including heavy metals like lead, mercury and cadmium.
- Nokia report that globally, 74% of consumers don’t think about recycling mobile phones, despite the fact that around the same number, 72%, think recycling makes a difference to the environment.
- Technology and IT equipment make up only 6% of the overall WEEE recycled in Ireland (WEEE Ireland Report 2014)
- Computers, laptops and tablets are not designed to be recycled mechanically – they are difficult to take apart, many of the materials cannot be easily identified. It takes real manual effort to extract components. (Recycle IT 2015)
- Recycling helps to conserve energy and as a result less greenhouse gases are emitted
There are many ways that recycling helps our environment. Why not try to remember and introduce these 5 points.
- A reduction in landfill and industrial waste by reuse or recycling.
- Reduced energy usage by reuse or recycling.
- Less pollution through reuse or recycling.
- Increased employment by reuse or recycling.
- Sustainable usage of nature resources by reuse and recycling.
When Irish people wish to make a point, they usually do it well. This needs to be the case with reduce, reuse and recycling
By recycling, your positive actions makes you part of the solution rather than part of a global problem. As local communities we must plan and first take steps to reduce the amount of waste and including e-waste that is clogging up our lives .
Making sure that recyclable items such as computers don’t end up in the wrong bin, landfills or illegally dumped is an important step toward green living and environmental conservation for future generation.
Recycle IT is a not for profit social enterprise providing a community collection service for all types of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).
During 2015 Recycle IT offered collection services to 100,000 homes and businesses across Dublin and surrounding areas collecting a range of WEEE including over 7000 monitors and TV’s.
Our services are provided in partnership with WEEE Ireland. We are authorized by the National Waste Collection Permit Office and the local authority. Visit www.recycleit.ie to learn more or book your recycling collection on telephone 01 4578321.
Learn more about Repak Recycling here