WEEE Ireland CEO Leo Donovan, Ethan Holmes (Age 10), Sienna Lavery (Age 10), and Freya Lavery (Age 6). Westmeath householders are being urged to bring their batteries, electrical, and electronic waste to a set of free collection days, hosted by WEEE Ireland. Picture by Shane O'Neill, Coalesce.

Electronic waste free collection days in Westmeath this month

Westmeath householders are being urged to bring their batteries, electrical, and electronic waste to a set of free collection days to help the county meet national e-waste recycling targets for 2024.

The events, hosted by WEEE Ireland, kick off next Saturday July 20 from 10am-4pm at Lidl RDC, Robinstown, Mullingar, N91 P921. A collection will also take place on Saturday July 27 at Tesco, Kinnegad, N91 RX37, from 10am-4pm.

Anything with a plug, battery or cable can be recycled for free on the day, including old washing machines, TVs, toasters and kettles, electronic tools and toys, cables, IT equipment, mobile phones, remote controls, batteries, including farm fence batteries, and even watches.

“In Westmeath, and across Ireland, we are buying more electrical goods than ever – with people purchasing an average 22kg per head in 2023 compared to 16kgs just five years ago,” said WEEE Ireland CEO Leo Donovan.

“Shopping stats show a surge in spend on new electrical devices like mobile phones, computers, small kitchen appliances and white goods.

“With old items still lying around many households we want to offer the opportunity to recycle these for free.

“People in Westmeath have contributed greatly to e-waste recycling every year, with 893 tonnes of electrical waste collected in the county in 2023, and we want to encourage that trend.”

Over 9.2kg of e-waste was recycled per person in Westmeath last year – falling short of the national average of 10.33kg per person.

WEEE Ireland warns that the nation needs to meet new forthcoming EU target to recycle at least 25 per cent of our annual consumption of critical raw materials from e-waste.

“An average of 80% of all e-waste that we collect is recovered for use again in manufacturing through both indigenous operators and specialist processors in Europe,” said Mr Donovan.

“Most end-of-life products contain metals and minerals in higher concentrations than primary resources.

“These stocks of resources are the urban mines of the future, so our recycling efforts can have a significant impact on the environment.”

In 2023, the equivalent of 222,852 tonnes of CO2 emissions were avoided by recycling e-waste through the WEEE Ireland Scheme as opposed to landfilling. That is the equivalent of the annual carbon consumption of 4,457 hectares of trees.

WEEE Ireland accounts for over two thirds of all national waste electrical and electronics collection activity on behalf of 1,355 producer members.

“Recycling e-waste is incredibly beneficial for both the environment and the economy,” said Mr Donovan.

“Together, we are diverting waste from landfill, recovering raw materials for reuse and ensuring hazardous materials are safely and responsibly disposed of.

“We look forward to working with Westmeath householders to hopefully recycle a record-breaking amount of electronic waste in 2024.”