Waterford householders are being urged to bring their electrical and electronic waste to a free collection day to help the county meet recycling targets which have increased since the first lockdown in 2020. The event, hosted by WEEE Ireland with support from Waterford City and County Council, takes place on Saturday September 17th from 10am to 4pm at the Tesco Car Park, Tramore.
All household items with a plug or a battery will be accepted free of charge, including old washing machines, TVs, toasters and kettles, electronic tools and toys, cables, IT equipment, mobile phones, remote controls, and even watches.
“In Waterford, and across Ireland, we are buying more electrical goods than ever – with the annual tonnage on the market rising from 15kg a head in 2016 to 22kg a head last year,” said WEEE Ireland CEO Leo Donovan.
“Shopping stats during the pandemic showed a surge in spend on new electrical devices like mobile phones, computers, small kitchen appliances and white goods. With old items still lying around many households we want to offer the opportunity to recycle these for free. People in Waterford have contributed greatly to e-waste recycling every year, and we want to encourage that trend.”
A surge in lockdown spring cleaning saw 1145 tonnes of electrical waste collected in Waterford by the country’s largest recycling scheme in 2021, despite Covid-19 and travel restrictions still in place for much of the year.
9.86kg of e-waste was recycled per person in Waterford last year – falling short of the 2020 collection rate of 10.45kg and the national average of 10.86kg per person. However, the county’s e-waste target for 2022 has increased to 13kg per person, to reflect yearly increases in electrical goods consumption, accelerated by Covid-19.
“82% of all material that we collect is recovered for use again in manufacturing through both indigenous operators and specialist processors in Europe,” said Mr. Donovan.
“Most end-of-life products contain metals and minerals in higher concentrations than primary resources. These stocks of resources are the urban mines of the future, so our recycling efforts can have a significant impact on the environment.”
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.
These free events are proudly supported by Waterford City and County Council.
Ella Ryan, Environmental Awareness Officer, Waterford City and County Council added, “Recycling e-Waste is incredibly beneficial for both the environment and the economy. Together, we are diverting waste from landfill, recovering raw materials for reuse and ensuring hazardous materials are safely and responsibly disposed of.
“We look forward to working with WEEE Ireland and Waterford householders to hopefully recycle a record-breaking amount of electronic waste in 2022.”