WEEE Ireland recycling since 2005

June 15, 2015

WEEE Ireland and the Irish Public Recycles over 75 Million Electrical Waste Items since 2005

10 Years of WEEE Ireland Diverts 250,000 Tonnes of Electrical Waste from Landfill 

Over 25% of Irish people are still hoarding or throwing out electrical waste at home


  • 75 million waste electrical items collected since 2005, that’s over 70 electrical items per household
  • 250,000 tonnes of electrical waste diverted from landfill since 2005. Packed into 50,000 truckloads, nose to tail, the diverted electrical waste would stretch from Dublin to Paris (1,066km)
  • In 10 years 2,300 tonnes of portable waste batteries collected – the equivalent of over 125 million AA batteries
  • Most of us are now aware that we can recycle WEEE for free but 1 in 4 Irish people are still hoarding or putting  electrical waste in the rubbish bin at home
  • Since 2005 the fridge freezer recycling programme has diverted the equivalent of almost 90,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions from the atmosphere
  • Ireland is a WEEE recycling champion – all WEEE Ireland’s recycling contractors have recently received the European WEEE label of excellence standard – WEEELABEX for high quality electrical waste management processes
  • WEEE Ireland would like to thank all electrical stakeholders for their recycling efforts in the last 10 years

WEEE Ireland, today announced their milestone figures for electric and battery recycling over the past 10 years. Since 2005 WEEE Ireland have increased the WEEE take back rate in their collection areas to over 50% of household WEEE. This means the Scheme has already surpassed the 2016 EU target (45%) on behalf of its Members.

However, with continuous increasing EU targets designed to encourage us all to recycle more the challenge remains for Ireland to hit a 65% collection for recycling level by 2019.

Ireland is a superb student when it comes to electronic recycling and has graduated with honours from the first decade of WEEE recycling as one of the top WEEE recyclers in Europe. Since the creation of WEEE Ireland in 2005, the compliance scheme have managed to divert over 250,000 tonnes of electrical waste from landfill, the equivalent of 50,000 truckloads, who, when lined up would fill the distance from Dublin to Paris.

This was made up of over 75million waste electrical items including old TVs, dishwashers, kettles and toasters, DVD players, electrical toys, tools and more, meaning on average every Irish household recycled 70 items in that 10-year period.  This included 3 million monitors and screens.


WEEE recycling has of course significant environmental benefits:

  • The WEEE recycling processes ensure heavy metals, chemicals and other potential environmental hazards are captured and managed in an environmentally responsible way
  • Recycling electrical waste and batteries recovers resources for use again in manufacturing – part of a new drive toward circular rather than wasteful economical models in Europe
  • The correct recycling of fridge freezers by WEEE Ireland has also seen 90,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent diverted from entering the atmosphere over the past ten years

Currently WEEE Ireland is collecting for recycling, 50% of the weight of new electrical items sold in Ireland by retailers.  However this means up to 50% may not be disposed of correctly at its end of life.

1 in 4 people are unfortunately still hoarding WEEE at home or putting it in the rubbish bin, despite the opportunity to dispose of this electrical waste for free at over 5,000 collection points all over Ireland.

WEEE Ireland have also put a large emphasis on the take back of waste batteries which has been hugely successful, with over 2,300 tonnes of portable batteries collected in the last decade.  The campaigns have seen the take back rate for waste batteries go from 3% in 2007 to 33% in 2014 and the target for 2016 is now set at 45%.

A central partnership in achieving such a large take back rate from waste batteries has been WEEE Ireland’s relationship with Laura Lynn.  This has seen over €185,000 raised for the charity since 2011 encouraging more and more people to Recycle for Good with the Scheme.


Leo Donovan, CEO of WEEE Ireland, has hailed the huge progress they have made in ten years; “The landscape of electrical recycling in Ireland has completely changed since WEEE Ireland was established by the Producers of electrical appliances in 2005.  We have all moved from putting WEEE and waste batteries into our rubbish bins to automatically taking back for recycling to retailers or Local Authority recycling centres or weekend collection events.


“As a country we have been outstanding in reaching our WEEE EU recycling targets to date. We thank all of the stakeholders involved in the system since 2005 but in particular the people at home for recycling with our Scheme.  However the bar is continually being raised to encourage us to recycle more waste and recover resources and we need to continue to get more communities and people involved and thinking about how we manage our electrical waste. It has never been easier to recycle WEEE for free with Local Authority recycling centres, thousands of retail collection points and local collection events all over Ireland.  We have been a Europe leader in this area and we want to lead the way in achieving 65% take back rates in the coming years.” he said.


With 10 years of great work completed, WEEE Ireland have outlined the main ways that we can continue to be a European leader in the school of WEEE recycling.

  • PREVENT WASTE by having your appliances repaired by an authorised service provider
  • Ask friends and family could they REUSE appliances that are still in good working order when you are finished with them
  • Take back older and broken appliances for RECYCLING to electrical retailers when you purchase new electrical items
  • Put your waste batteries in the WEEE Ireland blue boxes to RECYCLE FOR GOOD and help The Lauralynn Children’s Hospice Charity
  • DON’T RUBBISH IT – recycle all household electrical waste for free at WEEE Ireland collection points. See www.weeeireland.ie for the nearest point to you
  • WEEE Ireland thank you for your support to date and ask everyone to KEEP WEEE RECYCLING! 


Filed Under:   Battery Recycling, Electrical Waste