Westmeath householders urged to embrace recycling and tackle hoarding of electrical waste

Householders in Westmeath are being urged to make ‘recycling of household electrical waste’ a new year resolution for 2024.

With 84% of Irish households containing an average of 15 to 20 broken or unused electrical items in their home, there has never been a better time to declutter while positively impacting on the environment and supporting a more circular economy.

To encourage people to recycle their electrical waste, a national awareness campaign has been launched by Minister of State, Ossian Smyth. The “Recycle your Electrical Waste for Free!” awareness campaign will inform and educate people on what items can be recycled and advise them of the multiple civic amenity sites and participating electrical retailers across Ireland.

Consumer research comprising 1,000 respondents was undertaken by iReach on electrical waste within homes in Ireland. It demonstrated that 30% of Irish households are storing old, broken or unused electrical items in garden sheds, 25% hoard them in drawers and 16% keep them in the attic, rather than recycling correctly.

E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream globally. Recycling is crucial to produce enough secondary raw materials and by recycling electrical waste we ensure these items can be used again in the manufacturing process, saving on the environmental impacts and creating a more circular economy.

WEEE Ireland, Westmeath’s designated Compliance Scheme Operator for electrical waste, reports that people in Westmeath have contributed greatly to the nation’s electrical waste recycling every year, with 908k tonnes of e-waste collected in the county during 2022. 9.47kg of waste was recycled per person in Westmeath in 2022, falling short of the national average of 10.33kg per person.

“For every 10 new small electrical products sold in Ireland last year, only 4 are eventually coming back through the Irish approved e-waste recycling system when they reach end-of-life. Ireland has performed exceptionally well in recycling our larger household items such as fridges and washing machines. We now need to extend that great effort to the smaller electronic items that end up languishing in our homes forgotten about or worse still, binned.

“It is vital to remind everyone that old and broken electrical items with a plug, battery, or cable contain valuable components that can be given a second life through recycling. You can easily return these items for free recycling at your nearest civic amenity site or participating electrical retailer,” Leo Donovan, CEO of WEEE Ireland, said.

Check out the MyWaste.ie website to learn more about electrical recycling and to locate your nearest free recycling drop-off point on their interactive map at www.mywaste.ie/waste-service-locator/


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