WEEE Ireland is working towards achieving Members’ share of national targets for WEEE in the Republic of Ireland.
35,708 tonnes of WEEE were collected by WEEE Ireland for recycling in 2017. This represents 68% of all household and dual use EEE placed on the market by WEEE Ireland members and an average of 10.08 kg per person1.
WEEE Ireland coordinates collections of waste electrical and electronic equipment via three core channels: Retailers, Civic Amenity Sites and Special Collections*. Taken together, collections from these channels totalled 35,708 tonnes in 2017.
While growing from a low base, we are seeing promising increase in the takeback of smaller items, tools, toys and lighting equipment. See more detail about our small WEEE and lighting activity in our key projects.
An estimated 15,500,000 WEEE appliances were collected for recycling by WEEE Ireland in 20172 including;
WEEE Ireland has designed and implemented programmes to ensure excellence in service, takeback and recovery rates for waste battery recycling since 2008. The ‘Blue Box’ has become synonymous with battery recycling in Ireland and this awareness is supported by the widespread collection point network WEEE Ireland has achieved across retailers, schools, business and other sectors.
5. National Transfrontier Shipment Office http://www.dublincity.ie/main-menuservices- water-waste-and-environment-waste-and-recycling-national-tfs-office/ntfso-waste
WEEE Ireland worked with its colleagues on the WEEE Forum CO2 tool to create a “common methodology to calculate the environmental benefit of management of WEEE”. The type of WEEE collected, transport distances, treatment plant, quality systems, downstream processes and output fractions can all influence the positive impact of recycling.
When we compared recycling electrical and electronic waste in our WEEE Ireland system with landfilling in 2017, the equivalent of 214k tonnes of CO2 emissions were avoided. Thanks to proper environmental management of over 35k tonnes of WEEE in 2017, the following was achieved:
If waste fridges and freezers are not recycled properly or landfilled then Coolant gases are not removed and these VFC gases are released into the atmosphere adding to the greenhouse effiect. In 2017 WEEE Ireland captured 120,000 tonnes of CO2eq emissions by recycling at dedicated WEEELABEX fridge plants (equivalent to the consumption of over 13.5 million gallons of petrol).
The benefits of WEEELABEX standard recycling across Europe can contribute to a significant reduction in energy requirements and CO2 equivalent emissions. The quality recovery of materials can be reused in the manufacturing of new electronics.
Public Relations Results
Public relations activity is an integral part of the marketing programmes delivered by the communications team. The PR content generated achieved an Advertising Equivalent Value10 of €855,000 in 2017, which indicates quality of content and excellence in execution. The diagram below demonstrates the strongest WEEE Ireland PR stories delivered in 2017.
10. Advertising Equivalent Value is a measure of the size of the coverage gained, its placement and calculation of what
Delivery of Online Services
As part of a programme to improve online communications in 2017, the team redesigned weeeireland.ie. Now responsive to mobile devices the design of the new site has reduced the number of phone calls to the Scheme and collections requests from retailers have been converted to the online form as shown here. There was a total of 145,000 visits to our website in 2017.
Public Collection Day Awareness Results
In 2017, the communications team worked to increase engagement with community groups and stakeholders. This work is paying dividends as local recycling champions are now advocates for our brand and recycling messages. Increased eciencies of operations and more targeted promotions around Public Collection Events yielded very clear and positive results.
The Power of Social Media
How many people saw WEEE Ireland awareness messages on Facebook and Twitter? In total 1,800,000 people were reached by our messages on these platforms in 2017. How that looks on Facebook is shown below.
Key Results from WEEE Pledge Schools Education Programme
The WEEE Pledge schools programme yielded an important 28 tonnes of waste batteries in 2017. Established in 2013, and with a network now of more than 2,500 schools, WEEE Pledge has built a long-term sustainable education and awareness programme. Through its sponsorship of The Rediscovery Centre environmental educational workshops, the programme was delivered to 8,000 students while also supporting the worthy social enterprise. Running this programme has also yielded additional invaluable benefits for WEEE Ireland.
The Technical and Operator auditing functions were incorporated under the remit of the Compliance Department in 2017. The Compliance Team has 3 core functions at WEEE Ireland to support Members in meeting their environmental management and Producer responsibilities.
Making IT Count
WEEE Ireland Producers report EEE by unit and weight to the Producer Register Blackbox under a 10-category 30 plus sub category system. By 2019 this will need to change to a 6-category open scope system in line with the 2012 Recast Directive requirements
Checking IT Twice
WEEE Ireland audits its Members as part of its Compliance Review programme. During 2017 240 compliance review interactions were recorded with Members. This inhouse programme checks the accuracy and completeness of data being reported to the Blackbox as well as other compliance responsibilities on Members e.g. information to users, website and takeback obligations, weight recording system