Galway consumers recycled the equivalent of 17 AA batteries per person in 2021, exceeding the national average, new figures reveal.
Data from WEEE Ireland shows Ireland achieved a 46 per cent battery recycling rate in 2021, reaching its EU directive obligations.
Nationally, there was a 16% increase in the amount of batteries recycled by Irish households, in line with increased consumption and greater usage of batteries in everyday products.
The spike in recycling is equivalent to 15 AA batteries saved from landfill per person – an increase of two per person on 2020.
Consumers in Galway city and county were above the national trend, averaging at an equivalent of 17 AA batteries per person which were prevented from entering landfill.
“This small increase of two extra AA batteries recycled per person across Ireland made a huge difference and we are urging everyone in Galway to recycle at least two more in 2022 to reach our target – and to stop and think before throwing them in the bin,” said WEEE Ireland CEO, Leo Donovan.
Younger consumers, in particular, are being urged to stop binning used batteries - as a new survey reveals almost half of 18-34-year-olds are tossing them in the trash.
WEEE Ireland’s study found that despite warnings around the environmental and safety hazards of incorrect disposal of end-of-life batteries, behavioural change is urgently needed amongst the younger generation.
“They are often lauded as the most environmentally conscious, yet the survey shows a worrying 43% of adults under the age of 34, actually throw their used batteries in general waste bins instead of recycling them,” said Mr Donovan.
“Binning batteries means that a range of really valuable resources will never be recycled. We need a sea change in behaviour amongst this cohort in order to properly address the problem.”
Every battery recycled by WEEE Ireland goes towards a donation fund to support the vital work provided by LauraLynn, Ireland’s only Children’s Hospice. This year’s €40,000 donation brings its overall total to €520,000 since the partnership first began 11 years ago.