Did you know? 

Only 40% Of Old Tech Is Being Recycled In Ireland. According to data released by WEEE Ireland Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment released in May 2023,  for every 10 new tech products sold in Ireland, only 4 are eventually being recycled when they become obsolete.

It means Ireland’s take-back rate for technology products since 2020 now stands at 40% – well below the national e-waste target of 65%.

CEO of WEEE Ireland, Leo Donovan, is now urging consumers to dig out old and broken tech and their accessories for recycling, emphasising the straightforward nature of backing up and wiping old devices.

“There are millions of devices languishing in Irish homes that could be recycled and put to good use once people can overcome their reservations about wiping them after they are properly backed up,” said Mr Donovan.

“Most phone and laptop manufacturers have user-friendly instructions on their websites for backing up and deleting data, ensuring that valuable information is not lost or exposed.”

The Empathy Research survey for Ireland’s largest not-for-profit compliance scheme also found that worryingly 12% of people still put small electronic waste items in general household bins.

What to do with old mobile phones? 

According to Switcher.ie, those looking to repurpose the use of that mobile taking up space in the house have a wide range of options. 

Before you discard your old phone, find out what you can do with it to earn some money, help the environment, or support a charity. Here are the main things you could do with your old handset:

What are the benefits of refurbishing? 

We spoke to the Irish company Refurbed who refurbish electronics in Ireland say this is a more sustainable approach to repurposing your old mobile phone. 

Padraig Power from Refurbished says “ E-waste or electronic waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world. It’s insane the amount of e-waste and because it is not renewable, the waste is just building on the planet. 

“If an item is still working, you could gift it to a family member. There are a lot of people that don’t need the newest, most modern phone with all of the latest new functions so having a phone that is still functioning can be great to gift on.

“Outside of that, if it’s a newer phone they could be still somewhat valuable price-wise. There are local stores that you could sell the device to and get some cash for them. 

“If it’s not working, you can still sell it locally for parts, particularly if it’s a new model.”

You can also bring them to your local authority recycling centre or a participating electrical retailer.

Once we have re-gifted, recycled, or repurposed our unwanted electronic items, we can go one step further for the environment by choosing a refurbished item. 

To find out more: