E-Waste in the EU: Facts and Figures

We are sharing a news article from the European Parliament, a forum for political debate and decision-making at EU level. This particular article was published on 23 December 2020 and is about electrical and electronic waste and the fact that it growing faster than any other waste stream. Check out the facts and figures in the infographics below.

Did you know that less than 40% of e-waste is recycled. Electronic devices and electrical equipment define our modern life. From washing machines and vacuum cleaners to smartphones and computers, it is hard to imagine life without them. But the waste they generate has become an obstacle in the EU efforts to reduce its overall ecological footprint. This includes Ireland.

What is e-waste?

Electronic and electrical waste, or e-waste, covers a variety of different products that are thrown away after use. From the largest items to the smallest including cables, phones and batteries. Large household appliances, such as washing machines and electric stoves, are the most collected, making up more than half of all collected e-waste.

This is followed by IT and telecommunications equipment (laptops, printers), consumer equipment and photovoltaic panels (video cameras, fluorescent lamps) and small household appliances (vacuum cleaners, toasters, kettles etc.).

All other categories, such as electrical tools and medical devices, together make up just 7.2% of the collected e-waste.

E-waste recycling rate in the EU

Less than 40% of all e-waste in the EU is recycled, the rest is unsorted. Recycling practices vary among EU countries. In 2017, Croatia recycled 81% of all electronic and electrical waste, while in Malta, the figure was 21%. Ireland recycles 47.7% of all electronic and electrical waste but this figure could be a ;ot higher if we all did more.

Why do we need to recycle electronic and electrical waste?

Discarded electronic and electrical equipment contains potentially harmful materials that pollute the environment and increase the risks for people involved in recycling e-waste. To counter this problem, the EU has passed legislation to prevent the use of certain chemicals, like lead.

Many rare minerals that are needed in modern technology come from countries that do not respect human rights. To avoid inadvertently supporting armed conflict and human rights abuses, MEPs have adopted rules requiring European importers of rare earth minerals to carry out background checks on their suppliers.

What is the EU doing do reduce e-waste?

In March 2020, the European Commission presented a new circular economy action plan that has as one of its priorities the reduction of electronic and electrical waste. The proposal specifically outlines immediate goals like creating the “right to repair” and improving reusability in general, the introduction of a common charger and establishing a rewards system to encourage recycling electronics.

To learn more and read the post from the European Parliament please click here.

If you need to recycle electrical or electronic equipment safely Recycle IT are happy to help. Just send us an email or call 01 4578321 for more details.

Recycle IT is a not for profit, social enterprise based in Clondalkin, Co Dublin, Ireland.

Recycle IT Collection

Recycle small electrics now!

As technology at home and in the office evolves, the speed at which people cease using their existing small electrical and electronic items and replace them with newer models happens with increased regularity. Days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday increase exposure to new gadgets and drive consumers to purchase!

Small Mixed Electrical/Electronic Item – Recycle IT
What is Small?

Individuals young and old replace phones, modems, toys, game consoles, chargers, virtual assistants (AI technology), smartwatch and fitness monitors without thinking to much about the older equipment. Did you know the average life of a smartphone and smartwatch is approx. 24 months.

There are reasons for a short life such as built-in obsolescence or the consumers perceived need or want for the newest product. Research by the German Environment Agency on the lifespan of consumer electronics can provide further information; just click here.

Small Household Electrical Items – Recycle IT

Before you dispose of old items please be aware many items contain valuable metals and plastics. With natural resources in limited supply, combined with ever increasing waste disposal costs, it’s important that we safely recycle small electrical items so that they can be reused in new products.

Small Electrical Equipment List

Items like those listed above and below (if not fit for reuse) are usually shredded to reduce volume and are mechanically separated into their component parts (plastics, ferrous metals and non-ferrous metals). The materials collected will then be reused. For example, mixed grade plastic can be used to make street and park furniture or multi purpose decking. Any metals recovered are reused in the manufacture of many different types of new products including your new phone or tablet!

Small Electrical Equipment List (Continued)
What to do?

Recycle IT can help you recycle your small, old, unused or damaged electrical items including batteries of all types.  Pop your batteries in a small clear bag alongside of items such as kettles, toaster or small electric tools and they all will be safely recycled. Please don’t place them in the black, brown or green bin or leave them out for unauthorised collection.

Small Electrical Jukebox – Recycle IT

Recycle IT want to encourage all users of electrical items to recycle their unwanted, damaged, broken or outdated small electrical gadgets when recycling large items from their homes and offices. Clear out draws, shelves and bags used to store smaller items out of sight!

Recycle IT offer a community collection service, a business collection service and free drop off to communities across Dublin and would like to see an increase the amount of small electrical items received for safe recycling. If this does not work for you, simply place in an envelope or small box and post to us!

Please don’t horde items in the hope of future repair for reuse. Please do get them repaired quickly and if not recycle!

About Recycle IT

Recycle IT is an award-winning social enterprise providing a community, personal and business collection service for all types of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in Dublin and surrounding counties.

During 2018 Recycle IT offered to drop off and collection services to tens of thousands of homes, schools, charities and businesses across Dublin and surrounding areas collecting a range of WEEE which includes thousands of computers, cables, monitors, microwaves and screens

Recycle IT services are provided in partnership with WEEE Ireland. Recycle IT is supported by Pobal, Dormant Accounts, South Dublin County Council and authorized by the National Waste Collection Permit Office and the local authorities across Leinster.

Recycle IT – Repak Award Winner 2019 – WEEE Champion

Climate Action – Take small recycling steps!

What we can do!

Recycling allows materials to be reused, re-purposed, recycled and recovered over and over. Waste sent to landfill sites and incinerators does not drive reuse and costs Irish taxpayers, millions of euros every year. Yet much of this cost and waste could be saved by recycling.

Waste of all types produce emissions of greenhouse gases including methane, a powerful greenhouse gas which contributes to climate change and after the severe weather events and natural disasters over recent years, we can all see the effects of this change first hand.

School climate strike, crowd scene, Dublin, 15 March 2019
School Climate Strike – Photo credited to Christian Aid Ireland

Targets

Ireland has committed to a legally-binding EU target. This means reducing greenhouse gas emissions coming from agriculture; transport, residential buildings, commercial activity, “non-energy intensive industry” and waste including incineration.

Ireland is obliged to cut its emissions in total by 80% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels, under its Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015. In 2017 the Irish Government published a National Mitigation Plan explaining how it intended to meet that goal.

The then Minister for Communications, Climate Action, and Environment have said that it is likely to cost the State up to €150 million to pay for carbon credits to compensate for the fact that Ireland will fail to meet its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy targets.

Energy consumption accounted for 60% of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2017. Transport, residential and industry accounted for the highest shares of emissions. (Source SEAI). As our economy grows these emissions are likely to increase further.

Climate Change
Climate Change Ireland

The 2018 report from Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe gives Ireland a total score of 21 % on fighting climate change, making it one of the only three EU countries that scored less than 30% along with Estonia (24%) and Poland (16 %). (Source: Green News Ireland).

Recent Judgment

On July 31st 2020 the Irish Supreme Court ruled that Ireland as a nation needs to strengthen it’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) published in 2019. In a case brought by Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE), they argued that the plan was not “fit for purpose” because it was not designed to achieve substantial emission reductions in either the short or medium-term.

Clodagh Daly, a spokesperson for Climate Case Ireland, described the judgment as “really significant”. “The unanimous ruling by seven supreme court judges has made it crystal clear that the Irish Government cannot set long-term commitments without showing how they will be achieved in the short term,”

Climate Ireland
Climate Action Plan 2019

Eamon Ryan (TD) and current Irish Government’s Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport, welcomed the judgment and congratulated FIE for taking the “important” case.

The government now must set real actionable targets. Please click the image above to download a copy of the Climate Action Plan 2019.

Help by Recycling

Ireland’s apparent inability to meet its obligations for emissions reduction is cross-sectoral with some sectors of society simply doing little to help. Fixes such as increased working at home and eco-friendly public transport will happen but immediate action can be taken by simply by reducing, reusing or safely recycling items from around your home, school, warehouse, store or office. (really think about what to do with old stuff and do you need new stuff).

In a number of areas in Dublin, the local authorities work in partnership with Recycle IT to offer residential collections for electrical and electronic waste.

This free collection service is usually an annual service offered too or requested by residents groups in Dublin and surrounding areas. The service really helps people safely dispose of large and small electrical, electronic and metal appliances and equipment.

Recycling Helps
Recycle IT – Recycling Helps

Household collections are held on an agreed and specific day or week. Your resident’s association will notify you of your collection day usually 3 – 5 days in advance with a message via whats app or text with further reminders a few days before collection.

You can also contact us if unsure if the item you have for recycling will be accepted as part of collection Just email Recycle IT directly

Some Household Recycling Guidelines

When putting items out for a recycling collection remember:

  • to keep the piles tidy inside your garden, or on the curb so the footpath or roadway is kept clear
  • If you think an unofficial collection is taking place, call us and we will arrange a collection from your door
  • if in an office move items to the ground floor to allow for speedy collection
  • let us know if items can’t be easily and safely lifted by two collection team members?
  • notify us in advance if items need to move out of your home. (we can offer some guidance based on Covid19 best practices).
  • notify us in advance about sharp or dangerous objects.
  • keep items secured if severe weather is expected.

Recycle IT also support business customers with cost-effective recycling options. We collect and recycle all types of office equipment from the office kitchens to electronic items used on the office desk.

About Recycle IT

Recycle IT, is an award-winning nonprofit social enterprise offering electrical, electronic and metal recycling services through drop off and collection. Services are provided in partnership with WEEE Ireland and South Dublin County Council.

Recycle IT are supported by Pobal and Dormant Accounts and authorized by the National Waste Collection Permit Office and the local authorities across Dublin, Kildare, and Wicklow. For more information on Recycle IT please call 01 4578321, email info@recycleit.ie or visit our website www.recycleit.ie

Recycle IT

2021 School Recycling Collections….are back

Free Collection Service

Schools, colleges, and training organisations located in Dublin and surrounding areas now have the opportunity to recycle old and once valued electrical, electronic and pure metal equipment. If you need to declutter and create space recycling safely can really help.

Mixed WEEE – Stored for Recycling

The service is offered free and is dedicated to reducing large amounts of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) which accumulates in classrooms, canteens, stores, and labs over time.

Recycle IT, is a community based social enterprise, offering a simple and efficient route to recycle disused electrical and electronic items. After collection, items are broken down and recovered materials are processed for use in the manufacture of a new product. Your recycling helps sustain our organization and create employment and training opportunities.

The free collection service helps safely divert e-waste from landfill and makes use of old items that may have been thrown away. The types of items usually collected include computers, kitchen equipment, phone systems, mobile phones, laptops, tablets, monitors, projectors, printers, battery-operated toys, televisions, and radios. Please click here for a full list 

School Printers - Recycle IT
School Printers – Recycle IT

Schools, Community and Fundraising 

Our school’s collection service is organised as part of our free community collection service. We also support WEEE Ireland with collections of batteries from schools around Dublin which in turn supports the work of LauraLynn Children’s Hospice.

During the last 18 months, we worked with hundreds of schools, colleges, and training organizations all over Dublin and saw an overall increase in electrical equipment collected for recycling with a similar trend in 2021.

After a period away from work due to COVID-19 restrictions we are back collecting. We have again updated our health and safety policies and a small number of our team have returned to work to help operate our recycling collection services. We are now in a position to help your school safely recycle all types of electrical, electronic and pure metal equipment so do email us.

WEEE Ireland Logo

Register an interest

Schools, colleges, and trainers of all types in Dublin and surrounding area are welcome to register an interest, simply complete a registration form by clicking here or call our team on 01 4578321 Monday – Friday. Once you call or email we can help you plan and schedule your e-waste collection.

For more information about Recycle IT please click here.

About Recycle IT

Recycle IT is an award-winning, not for profit, social enterprise established to create employment and promote environmental awareness through recycling and reuse. We work in partnership with WEEE Ireland and are authorized by your local authority to provide electrical, electronic and pure metal recycling collections across Dublin since 2007. Recycle IT are fully compliant for WEEE Recycling with permit details available here.

CSR Commended - Recycle IT
Recycle IT – Commended for Corporate Social Responsibility

2020 Electrical Recycling – Residents Groups Recycle Free

The Figures

Ireland has surpassed the EU targets for collection of household electrical items, and for recovery of WEEE of all ten categories. More than 52,300 tonnes of WEEE (all categories, household, and non-household) were collected for treatment across Ireland. More than 47,500 tonnes of WEEE were recovered with 59% of WEEE collected comprising of large household appliances. (Source: EPA Release, 31 January 2018).

Did you know about 69% of the waste electrical and electronic equipment collected was treated in Ireland? (although not necessarily final treatment)

Recycle IT want to encourage householders, families, and children to take action and recycle more old, unwanted or unused stuff from around your home. This includes kettles, cookers, games, batteries, phones, metals, and electronic toys; the list is endless so click here for more. To support we offer free resident association collection in many areas of Dublin.

Recycle IT - Community Electrical Recycling
Recycle IT – Community Electrical Recycling

Recycle IT has a focus on recycling old, once loved electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and pure metal. If your cooker, hobs or battery-operated toys, radio or phone is broken or surplus to requirements what do you do? Do you leave them to gather dust in the cupboard, attic or garden shed or do you add them to the weekly rubbish? (out of sight, out of mind) Why not consider recycling now! We will except metal including outdoor heaters, bbq’s, old bikes, pots, pans and more…

Impacts

In 2019 Recycle IT visited thousands of homes located on roads and in estated across Dublin and surrounding areas with the average weight of mixed items collected matching the weight of a large tumble-dryer at 40KG. The weight of items safely recycled by our team in 2019 totalled over 700 tons.  Over 4000 people assisted with moving heavy or awkward items directly from homes.

Many of us simply don’t realize that items with a plug or battery can be reused, re-purposed or recycled. So if your TV’s, monitors, laptops or washing machine have become obsolete think about the positive impact you can make by recycling with Recycle IT.  You can help the environment, sustain jobs and create training opportunities by taking part in our resident’s recycling days.

Recylcing TV's - Recycle IT
TV Recycling By Recycle IT

12 Reasons to avail of Free WEEE Recycle

  1. Recycling conserves resources e.g. metal, plastics, water, fuel.
  2. Recycling reduces clutter and creates space.
  3. Recycling helps reduce Co2 emissions.
  4. Recycling saves energy.
  5. Recycling helps protect the environment e.g climate change
  6. Recycling reduces landfill.
  7. Recycling reduces domestic waste charges.
  8. Recycling helps create and maintain local employment.
  9. Recycling encourages others in your community to recycle.
  10. Recycling using official locations or collections reduces the dumping of waste.
  11. Recycling helps our children learn about sustainability so involve your kids.
  12. Recycling provides access to materials for repurposing and reuse by others

You can drop off your items free of charge with Recycle IT or arrange a residents association collection for you and all your neighbours once loved electronic toys, laptops, PCs, white goods, kitchen appliances, electric gardening tools, TV’s, old video games consoles and lots more.

Electrical Equipment
Household Electrical Equipment

Once received the items, they can be reused, re-purposed or recycled leading to an overall reduction in the number of electrical items going to landfill or illegally shipped to third world countries. Another real benefit is the fact that our service helps create training and employment opportunities.

What has been achieved in Ireland to date

  • 90,000 tons reductions in CO2 emissions from Fridge Freezers.
  • 75 million electrical appliances already collected through WEEE Ireland.
  • A reduction in harmful batteries ending up in landfill.
  • Fewer light bulbs found in domestic waste.
  • Increased employment opportunities.
  • Better overall environmental awareness.

About Recycle IT

Recycle IT an award-winning community recycler wishes to build on Ireland’s recycling success story and help increase the 7.6 kg of waste electronic and electrical equipment recycled per person, per year. We are inviting resident associations and community groups including tidy towns to speak with us about arranging a FREE collection in your area over the coming months.

Our recycling service is provided FREE to resident associations and communities in South Dublin, Dublin City and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown with surrounding areas in Wicklow and Kildare also serviced so please give us a call to learn more and arrange a residents collection for your area.

Please call us on 01 4578321 or email info@recycleit.ie.

Remember dropping into our site in Clondalkin is also FREE, Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 3pm. We can also arrange a cost-effective personal collection within a few days of order. Call 014578321 now for more information

Recycle IT is supported by Dormant Accounts to deliver our scheduled community and residents recycling collection service.

Dormant Accounts Fund Logo
Dormant Accounts Funded 2019