A record 11kgs of electrical waste per person was recycled last year

WEEE Ireland has warned that difficulties in recycling electrical waste from household clear outs during lockdown.

A new national record of 10.89 kg of electrical waste per head of population was recycled in Ireland last year.

The annual report from WEEE Ireland (Waste, Electrical and Electronic Equipment) showed more than 19 million pieces of electronic waste were recovered in 2019 including 3.2 million lamps and lightbulbs, 334,000 large household appliances, 194,000 TVs and monitors and 122,000 fridges. 

The country’s largest electrical and battery recycling scheme also exceeded the EU’s 45% target for waste portable batteries in 2019 by 2%.

WEEE Ireland is a not for profit organisation, founded by producers of electrical and electronic appliances to help them comply with the legal obligations on waste. 

The organisation also said it was one of the few in Europe to meet a landmark EU environmental Directive target to recover the equivalent of 65% of the average weight of all new electrical equipment placed on the market by its members over the three preceding years.

However, its CEO Leo Donovan claims that the country could struggle to meet the 65% benchmark figure this year if an expected glut of waste electrical items is not diverted from landfill.

“We are facing a battle to stay on target against an increase in electrical and electronic products sold over the past three years and the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown on recycling," he said.

“Households throughout the country have used the lockdown to carry out extended spring cleaning, and it is vital that these end of life electrical items do not end up in landfill, or worse illegally dumped, destroying the progress that we have made as a nation."

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