Longford householders are being urged to bring their batteries, electrical, and electronic waste to a free collection event to help the county meet national e-waste recycling targets for 2023.
The event, hosted by WEEE Ireland in partnership with Longford County Council, takes place on Saturday May 27 at Granard Farmers Market, Parnell Row, Granard, from 10am-4pm. All household items with a plug or a battery will be accepted free of charge, including old washing machines, TVs, toasters and kettles, electronic tools and toys, cables, IT equipment, mobile phones, remote controls, batteries, including farm fence batteries, and even watches.
WEEE Ireland CEO Leo Donovan, said, “in Longford, and across Ireland, we are buying more electrical goods than ever – with the annual tonnage on the market rising significantly from 15kg a head in 2016 to 23kg a head in 2022. Shopping stats during the pandemic showed a surge in spend on new electrical devices like mobile phones, computers, small kitchen appliances and white goods. With old items still lying around many households we want to offer the opportunity to recycle these for free. People in Longford have contributed greatly to e-waste recycling every year, and we want to encourage that trend.”
A surge in lockdown spring cleaning saw 482 tonnes of electrical waste collected in Longford by the country’s largest recycling scheme in 2021, despite Covid-19 and travel restrictions still in place for much of the year. 11.81kg of e-waste was recycled per person in Longford last year – falling short of the 2020 collection rate of 12.64kg but exceeding the national average of 10.86kg per person.
However, the county’s e-waste target for 2023 has increased to 14kg per person, to reflect yearly increases in electrical goods consumption, accelerated by Covid-19.
Donovan continued, “82% of all material that we collect is recovered for use again in manufacturing through both indigenous operators and specialist processors in Europe. Most end-of-life products contain metals and minerals in higher concentrations than primary resources. These stocks of resources are the urban mines of the future, so our recycling efforts can have a significant impact on the environment.”
In 2021, the equivalent of 231,179 tonnes of CO2 emissions were avoided by recycling e-waste through the WEEE Ireland Scheme as opposed to landfilling. That is the equivalent of the annual carbon consumption of 4,624 hectares of trees.
WEEE Ireland accounts for over two thirds of all national waste electrical and electronics collection activity on behalf of 1,300 producer members. These free events are in partnership with Longford County Council.
Gary Brady, Environmental Awareness Officer at Longford County Council, said, “recycling e-waste is incredibly beneficial for both the environment and the economy. Together, we are diverting waste from landfill, recovering raw materials for reuse and ensuring hazardous materials are safely and responsibly disposed of. We look forward to working with WEEE Ireland and Longford householders to hopefully recycle a record-breaking amount of electronic waste in 2023.”
Source: Longford County Council