Householders urged to tackle hoarding of electrical waste by making 2024 a year for recycling

January 22nd, 2024

84% of Irish householders are hoarding broken or unused electrical items at home

Householders are 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 the environment and supporting a more circular economy.

To encourage people to recycle their electrical waste, a national awareness campaign is being launched today 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.

Launch of the Recycle Your Electrical Waste for Free!

Ossian Smyth, Minister of State with responsibility for Public Procurement, eGovernment and Circular Economy, said “I am delighted to launch this national awareness campaign today, to remind everyone that they can return their electrical waste for free recycling at hundreds of drop off points across the country.

“This campaign is a collaboration between the Government of Ireland, MyWaste.ie and the two national compliance schemes ERP Ireland and WEEE Ireland. It demonstrates our commitment to working together to raise public awareness of the importance of responsibly recycling electrical waste.” 

He added, “Electrical products contain valuable raw materials, and recycling these materials will help Ireland transition to a circular economy, where waste is minimised.”

Independent research house, iReach undertook consumer research, comprising 1,000 respondents, on electrical waste within homes in Ireland.

  • 84% of Irish householders are hoarding broken or unused electrical items at home
  • Irish homes contain an average of 15 to 20 broken or unused electrical items
  • Typical hoarded electrical items include kettles, plugs and cables, mobile phones, TVs, microwaves, laptops, power tools and vacuum cleaners
  • Recycling electrical waste is free, and MyWaste.ie has a convenient interactive map with hundreds of electrical waste drop off points across the country
  • First-of-its-kind national waste electrical recycling campaign launches today

It demonstrated that 30% of Irish households store old, broken or unused electrical items in garden sheds, 25% hoard them in drawers, and 16% keep them in the attic rather than recycling them correctly.

Martin Tobin, CEO of ERP Ireland said, “Ireland is embracing a more sustainable future, and we are encouraging people to declutter their households, sheds and attics and recycle their broken and unused electrical items. Electrical waste allows us to extract secondary raw materials which is crucial to a fully circular economy.

“All electrical items, including smaller ones like mobile phones, laptops, toasters and plugs can be recycled! Regrettably, people are either hoarding their electrical appliances or disposing of them incorrectly in general waste which ends up in landfills l. This can negatively affect the environment, so we encourage everyone to declutter their old and broken electrical items and recycle them at their local electrical retailer or civic amenity site – and remember its free!”

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.

Leo Donovan, CEO of WEEE Ireland said, “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.”

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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