Minister Gormley welcomes WEEE statistics


Mr. John Gormley TD, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government has announced further progress in the performance of the WEEE recycling scheme since it into effect on 13 August 2005.

“This is demonstrated in the collection of 8.7 Kgs of household WEEE for recycling in 2007 - over double the 4 Kgs target the WEEE Directive requires Ireland to achieve by the end of this year” - he said, adding that - “37,812 tonnes of household WEEE was collected during 2007 - a 20% increase over the 2006 collection rate”.

The Minister was speaking when welcoming reductions in Environmental Management Costs (EMCs), announced by the WEEE Register Society Ltd. following its recent review of EMCs (Click Here). As a result of the review, EMCs will no longer be applied to smaller electrical items, including energy efficient Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs).

Welcoming the removal of the 50c EMC on CFLs, the Minister stated that he expected to see producer’s reduced input costs being passed on to the consumer. “I would see a reduction in prices, offering consumers an additional incentive to purchase CFLs and play their part in reducing Ireland’s carbon emissions” - he said.

EMCs will only apply to large electrical goods - such as washing machines and dishwashers - and problematical appliances - such as fridges, televisions, fluorescent tubes and gas discharge lamps, which are particularly expensive to recycle.

The changes came into effect from Sunday, 1st June, on account of further reductions in recycling costs due to improved economies of scale and indigenous investment in WEEE recycling facilities. The indigenous investment in WEEE recycling facilities is a direct consequence of the stable regulatory environment following implementation of the WEEE Directive.

Minister Gormley also welcomed the improved collection rates for small WEEE items, which accounted for 24% of all household WEEE collected during 2007 - up from 18% in 2006. This, however, is short of the proportion of small WEEE items collected in other member states.

“It clear that not enough small items of WEEE are being recycled” - the Minister said. “All WEEE is hazardous - and none, no matter how small, whether it is DVD players, electronic games, watches or electric toothbrushes, should be placed in the household bin”.

“Local authorities are required to take back all household WEEE deposited at their collection points free of charge and retailers must inform their customers not just of the one-for-one and like-for-like take-back services that they are obliged to provide, but also of the free take-back service provided by local authorities” - he added.

The Minister concluded by welcoming the commitment by WEEE Ireland and ERP to provide capital investment of €3 million towards the provision of weather cover infrastructure at local authority civic amenity facilities - which will ensure that deposited EEE waste at these facilities is protected from the elements. This is in line with the requirements of the Directive and will also facilitate greater reuse of old appliances.

Highlights Summary -

  • Each person recycled 8.7 Kgs of household WEEE in 2007
  • Ireland doubled target (4kg//person) set for 2008
  • 1.3 million large domestic appliances recycled since August 2005
  • WEEE Directive has now diverted 380,000 televisions from landfill
  • 11.4 million WEEE items collected to-date
  • 37,812 tonnes/6.7 million units of household WEEE recycled in 2007
  • Improvement in proportion of smaller items recycled - but more needs to be done
  • More infrastructure required to facilitate reuse – producers commit €3 million for local authority capital infrastructure.