WEEE Ireland CEO Leo Donovan with Ethan Holmes, Sienna Lavery and Freya Lavery. East Mayo householders are being urged to bring their batteries, electrical and electronic waste to a set of upcoming free collection days, hosted by WEEE Ireland in partnership with Mayo County Council. Photo: Shane O'Neill | Coalesce

Mayo householders urged to avail of free e-waste and battery recycling events

Mayo 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 in partnership with Mayo County Council, kick off on Tuesday, June 18, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Centra car park, Main Street, Crossmolina, before moving to Bonniconlon GAA Club, Bonniconlon, on the same day from 4 to 7 p.m.

Another north Mayo collection will take place on Thursday, June 20, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Humbert Street car park, Ballina.

That same day, a collection will take place beside Dey's Shop, Ballyvary, from 4 to 7 p.m.

On Tuesday, June 25, a collection will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Charlestown Sarsfields GAA Club before moving to Kiltimagh GAA Club from 4 to 7 p.m. the same day.

A collection will also take place in the west car park, Knock, on Thursday, June 27, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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 Mayo, 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.

He added: “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 Mayo have contributed greatly to e-waste recycling every year, with 1,389 tonnes of electrical waste collected in the county in 2023, and we want to encourage that trend.”

Last year, 10.07kg of e-waste was recycled per person in Mayo, falling short of the national average of 10.33kg per person.

WEEE Ireland warns that the nation needs to meet a forthcoming EU target to recycle at least 25% 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,” explained 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 2022, the equivalent of 216,157 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 4,323 hectares of trees.

WEEE Ireland accounts for over two-thirds of all national waste electrical and electronics collection activity on behalf of 1,300 producer members.

The upcoming free collection events are in partnership with Mayo County Council.

“Recycling e-waste is incredibly beneficial for both the environment and the economy,” said Sharon Cameron at Mayo County Council.

“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 WEEE Ireland and Mayo householders to hopefully recycle a record-breaking amount of electronic waste in 2024.”