Ireland's first public battery collection and recycling scheme


An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen TD has launched Ireland’s first ever co-ordinated public battery collection and recycling scheme at the Bridge Centre in Tullamore, Co Offaly.

The scheme, which is being piloted throughout Tullamore for 3 months, is an initiative of the national compliance scheme for electronic recycling - WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Ireland - and local company, KMK Metals Recycling, with the support of Tullamore Town Council and the Tullamore Chamber of Commerce.

Over one hundred deposit boxes have been placed in retail outlets throughout the town to allow members of the public to dispose of any depleted batteries for safe collection and recycling. All kinds of batteries from consumer products can be placed in the deposit boxes - including alkaline batteries, batteries from old mobile phones or laptops and lithium batteries from watches and clocks.

Information wallets with deposit bags are being issued to 12,000 homes in and around Tullamore, encouraging householders to collect and bring old batteries to local deposit boxes located around the town. Public information notices are also being displayed throughout the town in shops, restaurants and all public amenity venues. Local primary schools and Tullamore Public Library have also been enrolled in the collection effort, with special deposit boxes being installed for the duration of the scheme.

WEEE Ireland expects to roll-out a nationwide battery collection and recycling scheme in the autumn.

It is estimated that Irish consumers use several million alkaline batteries each year – nearly all of which have traditionally been sent to landfill via the rubbish bin. In addition, there are an estimated 2 million broken mobile phone handset batteries discarded annually.

Speaking at the launch, An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen said - ”I am delighted to be involved with this recycling initiative with WEEE Ireland here in Tullamore. Irish people have taken to recycling in a very positive way. Our Government is committed to introducing more recycling policies and this initiative helps everyone to move in that direction."

“Batteries are one of the few product lines which, traditionally, have slipped through the recycling net. With this initiative and the involvement of KMK Metals Recycling locally, we are confident that the people of Tullamore will set the example for the entire country by actively bringing old batteries to local retail outlets which have deposit boxes” - said Leo Donovan, CEO of WEEE Ireland, who also welcomed the involvement of the Tullamore Town Council and Chamber of Commerce in supporting the initiative.

For more information on WEEE Ireland - Click Here

For more information on KMK Metals Recycling - Click Here