The European Recycling Platform (ERP), Ireland’s only pan-European compliance scheme for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and waste battery recycling recently announced the results from its pan-European survey into recycling habits. The survey results bode well for Ireland, which outperformed other European countries surveyed for WEEE and battery recycling. Overall, Ireland ranks third in the survey with regards to WEEE recycling after Norway and Denmark. When it comes to battery recycling we are placed fourth after Austria, Germany and the UK.
Irish people recycle more than twice the European target of 4kgs of WEEE per head with the most commonly recycled items being large household appliances and televisions. Electrical tools and lighting equipment are recycled the least. The survey also reveals that of all WEEE, TVs have the highest return rate against product placed on the market in Ireland – suggesting that people are most likely to return their old TVs when upgrading to new ones more so than any other large electrical item.
Martin Tobin, CEO of ERP Ireland, said: “When it comes to recycling WEEE and batteries we rank third and fourth respectively against those countries surveyed. This marks an impressive achievement and reflects a remarkable shift in Irish people’s attitude towards recycling. ERP is incredibly grateful for the support of the general public and, together with the local authorities, we will continue to ensure that Ireland builds on its reputation as responsible recyclers of electrical waste.”
The disposal of WEEE and batteries is growing three times faster than the average waste stream and is now the fastest growing waste stream in the developed world. European citizens discard 6.5 million tonnes of household WEEE each year – equivalent in weight to 681 times the weight of the Eiffel Tower. According to ERP’s pan-European survey, an average of 8.26kgs of WEEE is being recycled per head which is well above the EU target of 4kg per head. An average of 109g of waste batteries are being recycled per head, which is the equivalent to an average of 6AA batteries recycled per head. Ireland recycles 66g of batteries per head of population equivalent to three AA batteries per capita.
Martin Tobin added: “ERP Ireland was founded in 2005 and now operates in 10 counties across the country: Fingal, Limerick, Meath, Westmeath, Louth, Clare, Limerick, Monaghan, Cavan and Kerry. We are continually seeking new and innovative ways to promote responsible recycling and behavioural change. We work closely with the local authorities on initiatives such as the Be Free Recycling Days which we hold across our counties. These events provide a convenient way for residents to recycle their WEEE and used batteries for free. Other joint initiatives with local authorities include Easter Egg hunts, special celebrations for Europe Day and European Week for Waste Reduction as well as our very popular Christmas Battery Recycling campaign.”
At a European level, ERP was the first WEEE compliance scheme permitted to launch multiple operations. Today, ERP is established in 12 countries across Europe: Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the UK.
In 2010, ERP celebrated the Europe-wide collection of 1 million tonnes of WEEE. This is the equivalent to the removal of 3.5 million cars from the road for one year around Europe. ERP has also saved the emission of 11.2 million tonnes of CO2 through the recovery of raw materials – this is the equivalent of flying around the world 3 million times!
Philippa King from the Limerick/Clare/Kerry Regional Waste Management Office said: “It’s great to see that as a nation we are performing well in terms of WEEE recycling in comparison to other European markets, and we are delighted to see ERP working effectively with the local authorities on a regional level. ERP delivers a comprehensive approach to promoting responsible recycling that has proven to be most effective. We commend ERP on their work to date and are confident in the knowledge that we will continue in our joint efforts to achieve a more sustainable Ireland.”
Phone: +353 (0)1 299 5642
Fax: +353 (0)1 299 5644
Registered Name: European WEEE Platform Ireland Limited.
Registered Address: Block C, Harcourt Centre, Harcourt Road, Dublin 2
Registered Number: 404550