FREE Community Recycle Event and WEEE progress

FREE Community Recycle Event Tuesday 20th June 2023, 9:30am

Our Community Recycle Event today aligned perfectly with the release of the WEEE Ireland Annual Environmental Report 2022. While we fell short of meeting the EU target for recycling electrical waste, we made significant progress by recycling a remarkable 40,804 tonnes, which amounts to just over 10kg per person. In total, we recovered 19.5 million appliances in 2022, including 113,000 fridges, 225,000 TVs and monitors, 2.2 million lighting items, and the equivalent of 60 million used AA portable batteries. Our collection rate reached 61.4%, slightly below the EU target of 65%, indicating we need to redouble our recycling efforts.

WEEE Ireland has emphasized the importance of meeting EU targets to recycle critical raw materials, as failure to do so could jeopardize green energy sources. Currently, the EU heavily relies on imports, with China supplying 93% of its magnesium and 86% of its rare earth metals. To ensure a sustainable and secure supply of these materials for our future green and digital transitions, it is crucial that we recycle used electronic and electrical waste to recover as much of these resources as possible.

So what are we doing in Ireland to meet the EU target?

1. To address these challenges and improve our recycling and re-use rates, the Circular Economy and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2022 was enacted in Ireland. This robust legislative framework will significantly enhance our recycling and re-use practices while reducing the use of single-use disposable items.

2. Furthermore, a national awareness campaign is being developed to boost our WEEE recycling rate to help us meet the EU target of 65%.

3. The Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy provides recommendations to enhance our performance in waste management. It emphasizes the importance of extending the lifespan of materials and shifting away from disposal and treatment. The plan also supports sustainable economic models by encouraging the use of recycled materials over virgin resources.

4. The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications is diligently working to implement the 200+ measures outlined in the Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy.

By implementing these initiatives and fostering a culture of responsible recycling, we can make significant strides towards meeting EU targets, securing sustainable sources of critical materials within the EU, and driving our future green and digital transitions.

In the meantime, thanks to Recycle IT, we did our bit in Dodsboro and Airlie with our Community Recycle Event and filled up the van with electrical and electronic equipment.