A new survey carried out for Ireland’s national compliance
scheme for electronic recycling - WEEE Ireland - shows
that 16% of consumers would put old or broken electronic items
into a bin, skip or dump, even though it is free to recycle
any such item at a local recycling centre or at an electrical
retail outlet when equivalent new items are being purchased.
Another 10% of respondents polled said they did not know
what to do with such items. The research also revealed that
66% of those surveyed were aware that old or broken electrical
goods can be recycled free of charge at recycling centres
or at retailers.
Other findings show that Dubliners and people aged 35+ had
a tendency to be more aware that old electronic goods can
be recycled free of charge. The survey also found that males
have a tendency to visit local dumps or landfill sites more
often than females, while women were more inclined to bring
old electronic goods to recycling centres than men.
Elizabeth O’Reilly, Compliance Manager with WEEE Ireland
said the survey results showed that, while awareness levels
of free recycling of electronic goods amongst consumers was
high, some consumers were still paying to get rid of electronic
“The fact is that people can dispose of old or broken electronic
equipment free of charge, rather than paying to get rid of
such equipment by disposing of it in the black bin, in a skip
or at the local dump. We would encourage consumers to bring
back all old or broken electronic equipment - no matter how
big or small – to their local recycling centre or to a retailer
when an equivalent item is being purchased.”
The research, which was undertaken by TNS mrbi amongst
a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults, coincides
with the launch of WEEE Ireland’s new public information campaign
- called 'send them to a better place' - which aims
to encourage people to recycle old or broken electronic goods
The campaign, which utilises national and local radio, billboard
poster sites and online media ads, features a host of old
electronic goods with angel wings all heading to a better
place - i.e. the local recycling centre or the electrical
The radio campaign features two different 40-second ads set
in an attic and a shed. The shed introduces ‘Tom the Toaster’
and ‘Ted the Telly’, while the attic unearths curling
tongs, an old carving knife and electric heater – all reminiscing
about days of old and wishing they were in a better place.
The ‘send them to a better place’ themed series is
expected to continue in the autumn, focusing on specific categories
of old electronic goods.
The campaign is part of a drive to urge consumers to take
old and broken electrical goods to their local recycling centres
or to retailers when purchasing a similar item. Any household
item that requires a plug or battery to function and is at
the end of its life is considered waste electrical and electronic
equipment (WEEE). Such items can be deposited at any of 79
local recycling sites nationwide for free recycling.
For location details and opening hours of recycling centres
throughout the country - Click
Figures released by WEEE Ireland for 2007 show that the scheme
collected 100,000 fridges and freezers, 250,000 TVs and computer
monitors, 2 million lamps (including fluorescent tubes and
energy saving CFL bulbs) and 1 small household electrical
item (kettles, toasters, radios, hair dryers, keyboards, remote
controls, etc.) per person.
In 2007, WEEE Ireland collected over 28,000 tonnes - or almost
9 kilogrammes per person - of electronic waste - the equivalent
of 5 old electric kettles for every man, woman and child and
over double the 2008 4kg target set for Ireland by the EU.
Since August 2005, WEEE Ireland has collected for recycling
the equivalent of one large domestic appliance (e.g. washing
machine, cooker, etc.) per household.
For more information - Click