15 Recycling Facts

Community Recycling.

Each year we as a nation we support events like Spring Clean Month, Recycling Week and Reuse Month. These events were established to promote the importance of recovery, reuse and recycling. They offer you,  your kids, family, friends and colleagues an opportunity to learn and do more as communities about what to do about waste.

Recycling is a real driver for change. It brings people in communities together to support change and make a real difference. Recycling helps with environmental wellbeing, community volunteering and creates actual employment opportunities in cities, towns and villages across Ireland. So the more people try reusing or recycling the greater the benefits. 

When items for recycling are collected with skill and care, some can be fixed for reuse and others disassembled becoming a resource that contributes to new product and jobs creation, business expansion, and the local economy.

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Old Paint for Recycling – Recycle IT

In recent years Ireland has achieved its highest ever rate of recycling, surpassing all EU recycling targets, The country’s overall recycling rate of 68% for all materials is ahead of the EU targets by 13% and it is now one of the leading performers in Europe. (Source: Repak).

The breakdown of recycling rates by materials are as follows:

  • Glass at 86% (EU target: 60%)
  • Metals at 79% (EU target: 50%)
  • Paper at 78% (EU target: 60%)
  • Wood at 95% (EU target: 15%)
  • Plastic at 33% (EU target: 22.5%).

Irish people know the importance of recycling and are doing great but we can always do more especially around recycling contamination. Sometimes with the best intentions, we are actually putting the wrong things in that green bin so just be mindful and follow Irelands recycling lists.

Electronic and Electrical Recycling

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.

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Camera Reuse / Recycling – Recycle IT

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!

Let’s share some facts! 
  1. The original owner of a laptop will keep it only three years before it is replaced. Mobile phones are replaced every 24 months or less. (lots to recycle).
  2. It is estimated in 2019 that 91% of all Irish households own a household computer with internet access. (Source: Statista Research Department).
  3. In Ireland, 90% of the population, now have access to a smartphone Source: Ipsos MORI)
  4. Three million people in Ireland in 2017 own a smartphone and check it around 57 times a day.
  5. It was estimated that about 50 million tons of e-waste were generated worldwide in 2018. China leads the way, with 7.2 million tons per annum, while the USA generated approx. 6.3 million tons per annum.
  6. Recycling electronic and electrical equipment allows materials to be reused, and re-using materials helps create new jobs.
  7. Recycling just one million laptops has the same impact as powering 3657 homes for one year! ( Source: How to Save Your Planet One Object at a Time)
  8. Electronic waste can contain more than 1,000 components, many of which are toxic, including heavy metals like lead, mercury and cadmium.
  9. Computers and televisions tend to have the most gold in them, but camcorders, media players, game consoles, and mobile phones also contain gold.
  10. According to the US EPA, one computer contains 3.6KG of lead which is toxic.
  11. 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.
  12. Large household appliances accounted for 48% by weight of all waste electrical items collected in Ireland during 2019. (Source: WEEE Ireland).
  13. 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 2020)
  14. In 2018, Ireland collected 36,131 tonnes of e-waste and 856 tonnes of waste batteries for recycling (Source WEEE Ireland).
  15. It is estimated that Irish people disposed of 3.2 million lamps and lightbulbs, 195,000 televisions and monitors and 13 million small appliances. (Source WEEE Ireland).

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 natural 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

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Reused Drum as Planter – Recycle IT

By recycling, your positive actions make 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.

About Recycle IT

Recycle IT is a not for profit social enterprise providing a community collection service for all types of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

Over the last 18 months Recycle IT offered collection services to 110,000 homes and businesses across Dublin and surrounding areas collecting a range of WEEE including over computers, 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

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Recognised as Age Friendly

RECYCLE IT – RECOGNISED AS ‘AGE FRIENDLY’

Recycle IT were delighted to be awarded an Age Friendly Business Charter in recognition of efforts to support older people in communities all over Dublin with electrical recycling collection and drop off services. Recycle IT are proud of the team’s work in achieving recognition and in also getting shortlisted for an Age Friendly Ireland Business Award.

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Age Friendly Ireland

Recycle IT, a social enterprise is honored to be the first Dublin based Community Electrical Recycler to be recognised in this way.  The team views the programme as an opportunity to learn more and offer an ever improving service to older people and all customers.

Una Lavelle, Recycle General Manager, said:

“We want to ensure our services meet the needs of everyone including older people.  By signing the Age Friendly Business Charter, we are showing our commitment to providing services that are customer focused and accessible”.

Elaine McGauran Age Friendly Ireland said:

“We are delighted to announce Recycle IT has been designated as ‘age friendly’ by Age Friendly Ireland. The Age Friendly Business Programme is a nationwide initiative with the aim of facilitating local businesses tap into an existing and growing market segment that accounts for 50% of consumer spending, the older customer. The programme seeks to recognise the efforts and improvements made by local businesses to provide more age friendly services”.

Elaine McGauran Age Friendly Ireland and Una Lavelle, Recycle IT General Manager
Elaine McGauran Age Friendly Ireland and Una Lavelle, Recycle IT General Manager

In initially working to implement an Age Friendly Charter, Recycle IT addressed three main areas

  1. Customer Care – two staff members agreed to become champions to ensure older people experience a friendly and helpful service which address individual needs.
  2. Communication – information on our services is straightforward and our team can be contacted easily.
  3. Accessibility and signage – clear building and van signage and appropriate size text used on our website.

As a result of taking part in the programme, real service enhancements have been made and welcomed by members of the communities we service.  These include a dedicated collection team telephone number, clearly recognisable collection vehicles, staff identity badges and building signage. Further enhancements are planned.

The Age Friendly Achievement Award Ceremony happened on Tuesday 24th May 2016 in Fitzpatrick’s Killiney Castle Hotel, Dublin with the Recycle IT team receiving recognition on the night for their efforts in supporting older people in communities across Dublin with recycling services which address individual needs.

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Awards Night – Recycle IT team with Councilor Barry Saul

About Recycle IT

Recycle IT is the only Community Electronic Recycling Social Enterprise in Dublin providing a neighbourhood collection and drop off service for all types of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

Age Friendly Champions Mark Graham and George Willis
Recycle IT – Age Friendly Champions Mark Graham and George Willis

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 and with the cooperation of South Dublin County Council. We are authorized by the National Waste Collection Permit Office and South Dublin County Council.

For further information, Tel: 01 4578321, email: info@recycleit.ie or visit our website www.recycleit.ie

Circular Economy: Know more

Circular Economy: Learn more

In 2014, the European Commission (EC) put forward an initial Circular Economy proposal to address the issue and help European businesses and consumers make the transition to a circular economy where waste is viewed as a ‘resource’ that can be recycled, re-used or remanufactured.

The plan will be backed by €5.5bn from the European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) and €650m from Horizon 2020 (the EU funding programme for research and innovation).

Circular Economy Tree
Circular Economy Tree

What is the status with EU waste policy today?

The 2008 Waste Framework Directive sets the overarching legislative framework for EU waste policy. The directive sets binding targets to be achieved by 2020: preparing for reuse and recycling of 50% of certain waste materials from households and similar sources, and preparing for reuse, recycling and other recovery of 70% of construction and demolition waste.

Meanwhile, the 1999 Landfill Directive bans landfilling of untreated waste. The directive sets a goal that the share of biodegradable municipal waste going to landfills may not be greater than 35% in 2016, compared to the baseline year of 1995.

The aims are to protect the environment and to safeguard the functioning of the internal market. It requires Member States to take measures to prevent packaging waste and to develop packaging reuse systems.

When will it happen?

The proposal is currently going through the EU legislative process. Before the Circular Economy proposal is passed into law, all three European institutions (the European Council, European Parliament and the European Commission) must have an agreed stance, which they will then take into a series of discussions.

Both European Parliament and Council of Ministers can amend the legislation but must agree upon the same text before the bills can become law. This means that a final proposal will likely not be established until the second half of 2017. Malta, currently hold the EU Presidency, hope to reach a deal with MEPs before 1 July, as its six-month Presidential term ends.

What does the change mean?

The targets listed under the Circular Economy proposal will be implemented by national governments across the EU Member States (including Ireland) and are targeted at the waste performance of households and businesses.

What are the targets listed under the proposal?

The original Circular Economy proposal intended to increase recycling levels and tighten rules on incineration and landfill. It consists of six individual bills on waste, packaging, landfill, end-of-life vehicles, batteries and accumulators, and waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

Evolving Circular Economy
Evolving Circular Economy –

The re-tabled proposal, unveiled in December 2015, included eco-design rules for products to make them easier to recycle. But it also had lower 2030 targets for recycling municipal and packaging waste, and replaced a 2025 aspirational landfill reduction target of 25% with a mandatory 10% goal for 2030.

This target was recently rejected as” watered-down” ambitions. A vote has advocated to reinstate the 70% target for municipal waste recycling, strengthening current proposals by 5%.

Meanwhile, a 2030 target for packaging recycling was voted to be 80% – higher than the 75% previously backed by the Commission. And the waste-to-landfill target has been restricted to 5%, replacing a mandatory target of 10% by 2030. MEPs have also voted for a European Union (EU) food waste reduction target of 30% by 2025 and 50% by 2030, compared to 2014.

The proposal includes a series of additional measures and targets, including:

  • The promotion of economic incentives to discourage landfilling;
  • A ban on landfilling of separately collected waste;
  • Simplified and improved definitions and harmonized calculation methods for recycling rates throughout the EU;
  • Define measures to promote re-use and stimulate industrial symbiosis – turning one industry’s by-product into another industry’s raw material;
  • Economic incentives for producers to put greener products on the market and support recovery and recycling schemes (e.g. for packaging, batteries, electric and electronic equipment, vehicles).
  • Four legislative proposals (included) are legal acts: Waste Framework Directive; Landfilling Directive; Packaging Waste Directive; Directives on end-of-life vehicles, on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators, and on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

About Recycle IT

Recycle IT is an award-winning not for profit social enterprise providing a collection and drop off service for all types of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). During 2016 Recycle IT supported drop off and collection services to over 100,000 homes, schools, charities and businesses across Dublin and surrounding areas collecting a range of WEEE which includes thousands of computers, cables, monitors, microwaves and TV’s.

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

To learn more about Recycle IT or to book a collection or drop off please call 01 4578321 or email us here.

Recycle IT - Pakman Award Winner 2016
Recycle IT – Pakman Award Winner 2016
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