On this week’s episode we spoke with Leo Donovan, CEO of WEEE Ireland

  1. One in eight people in Ireland continues to dump small electrical items in household bins, new research shows this week.

    2.  This figure almost doubles among younger age groups, which ironically are generally perceived as more environmentally conscious
  2. The survey was conducted by Empathy Research on behalf of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Ireland
  3. One in four 18-24-year-olds and one in five aged 35-44 get rid of common household electrical items such as smart watches, earbuds and bluetooth speakers in general waste bins.
  4. Laptops, mobile phones, gaming devices, power tools and e-cigarettes are also being tossed in alongside other waste, meaning they can never be re-used or recycled
  5. There are serious environmental and public health risks posed by improper disposal
  6. The proliferation of products powered by lithium batteries heightens these dangers, increasing fire safety risks for household waste collection companies
  7. The low recycling rates for small electrics are echoed in global statistics, with the recent Global E-Waste Monitor revealing that less than one quarter (22.3%) of e-waste was properly recycled in 2022, falling sharply to just 12% for small devices
  8. In addition, a recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study in Ireland revealed that over two-thirds of recyclable waste, including valuable electronic components, is wrongly discarded in general household and commercial bins
  9. The public needs to be reminded that recycling these items is both free and straightforward, as they can be dropped off at numerous, authorised recycling centres and public collection days across Ireland

11. Details of hundreds of local recycling centres, public collection days and participating retailers for all sizes and types of waste electrical, battery and lighting can be found on weeeireland.ie.