Galway householders urged to take advantage of free e-waste recycling events

Householders across Galway are being urged to bring their electrical and electronic waste to a series of free e-waste half day collection events in the county to help meet recycling targets, which have increased since the first lockdown in 2020.

The e-waste collection events will be touring through Galway throughout May and June, hosted by WEEE Ireland and supported by Galway County Council.

All household items with a plug or a battery will be accepted free of charge, including old washing machines, TVs, toasters and kettles, electronic tools and toys, cables, IT equipment, mobile phones, remote controls, and even watches.

Today, Thursday May 26, a collection takes place at the handball alley at the GAA pitch in Moycullen from 10am to 1pm.

Also today, collections in east Galway begin with an event at the Headford GAA pitch from 4pm to 7pm.

On Tuesday, May 31, collections will be at Claregalway Community Centre from 10am to 1pm, and in the SuperValu car park, Glenamaddy, from 4pm to 7pm.

There will be collections on Thursday, June 2, at the Williamstown GAA pitch from 10am to 1pm, and The Mart, Tuam, from 4pm to 7pm.

On Tuesday, June 7, the events will be hosted at O'Donohoe's Car Park, Abbeyknockmoy, from 10am to 1pm, and at Monivea Abbey GAA Club from 4pm to 7pm.

Another collection will take place at the Co-Op Livestock Mart, Athenry, from 4pm to 7pm on Thursday, June 9.

On Thursday, June 9, collections will kick off throughout the south of the county with an event in the car park at Paddy Burkes, Clarinbridge, from 10am to 1pm.

Tuesday, June 14, will see events at St Colman's Parish Church car park, Kinvara, from 10am to 1pm, and at St John the Baptist Church, Woodford, from 4pm to 7pm.

A collection will take place at Portumna Co-operative Mart on Thursday, June 16, from 10am to 4pm.

“In Galway, and across Ireland, we are buying more electrical goods than ever – with the annual tonnage on the market rising from 15kg a head in 2016 to 21kg a head last year,” said WEEE Ireland CEO Leo Donovan.

“Shopping stats during the pandemic showed 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 Galway have contributed greatly to e-waste recycling every year, and we want to encourage that trend.”

A surge in lockdown spring cleaning saw 2,881 tonnes of electrical waste collected in Galway by the country’s largest recycling scheme in 2020, despite Covid-19 and travel restrictions.

Last year saw 11.2kg of e-waste recycled per person in Galway – exceeding both the 2019 collection rate of 10.9kg, and the 2020 national average of 10.9kg per person.

However, the county’s e-waste target for 2022 has increased to 14kg per person, to reflect yearly increases in electrical goods consumption, accelerated by Covid-19.

“Eighty four per cent of all material that we collect is recovered for use again in manufacturing through both indigenous operators and specialist processors in Europe,” Mr Donovan said.

“Most end-of-life products contain metals and minerals in higher concentrations than primary resources. These stock of resources are the urban mines of the future, so our recycling efforts can have a significant impact on the environment.”

In 2020, the equivalent of 225,182 tonnes of CO2 emissions was avoided by recycling e-waste through the WEEE Ireland Scheme as opposed to landfilling. That is the equivalent of the annual carbon consumption of 4,504 hectares of trees.

WEEE Ireland accounts for over two thirds of all national waste electrical and electronics collection activity on behalf of 1,189 producer members


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