Time flies — send back your old clocks and watches, says WEEE Ireland

Leo Donovan, Rachel Montague and Elizabeth O'Reilly.

Leo Donovan, Rachel Montague and Elizabeth O'Reilly.

However as we bid a fond farewell to the summer months last weekend, WEEE Ireland, the Irish Compliance Scheme for electrical recycling, is reminding the people of Ireland that there has never been a better time to say goodbye your old batteries and small electronic items including clocks and watches and bring them back for recycling.

Over 65,000 clocks and watches have been collected from jewellery shops alone since the scheme began. However, figures gathered by WEEE Ireland show that people may still be hoarding small electrical items unaware that they can be brought to any recycling centre for safe recycling for free.

Any item with a plug or battery should be recycled. Since the launch of the free take back and recycling scheme in August 2005, WEEE Ireland has collected over 10 million old electronic items for safe recycling.

In 2007, Ireland collected more than double the EU target for electrical recycling; however we need to collect more if we want to be the best in Europe. While many people recycle large electronic items, many smaller items such as clocks, watches, hairdryers, and electric toys are being stored in drawers, garages and attics.

“We would encourage people to remember to bring small electrical items back for free either to the shop where they are buying a similar item or to any of the 86 recycling centres nationwide. Recycling WEEE is Free”, said Leo Donovan, CEO, WEEE Ireland.

These smaller electrical items can be harmful to the environment if not recycled at the end of their useful lives as they contain batteries which can have a detrimental effect on both the environment and human health. In response to the new EU Directive, WEEE Ireland rolled out their battery collection scheme in September 2008, providing 50,000 battery boxes to shops nationwide.

This means that recycling household batteries has never been easier. All you need to do is bring them to a shop that is selling similar batteries and deposit them into one of the WEEE Ireland battery boxes free of charge. Better still, there’s no obligation to purchase!

WEEE Ireland represents over 550 industry members and has collected over 10m items of WEEE to date The equivalent of each person in Ireland recycled 9 Kg of household WEEE in 2007.

WEEE Ireland, the Irish compliance scheme for electrical recycling, is a not for profit organisation, founded by producers of electrical and electronic appliances in order to comply with the legal obligations imposed by the WEEE Directive 2002/96/EC. It organises the treatment and recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE ) from authorised collection points in Ireland, on behalf of its members. More recently, WEEE Ireland has also become the Irish compliance scheme for battery recycling to coincide with the implementation of the Batteries Directive 2006/66/EC. WEEE Ireland works with permitted waste management companies and licensed treatment facilities to ensure WEEE and batteries are managed in an environmentally sound way. Over 75 per cent of the waste electrical and electronic equipment collected is initially processed here in Ireland.

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