16pc of people not recycling electric goods

25 Jun 2008

Some 16pc of people are still dumping their electronic items in bins, skips and landfill sites, despite free electronic recycling being widely available.

WEEE Ireland, Ireland’s national compliance scheme for electronic recycling, found that 10pc of people it polled said they do not know what to do with such items.

On a positive note, two thirds of respondents surveyed said they were aware that old or broken electrical goods can be recycled free of charge at recycling centres or at retailers.

The survey found Dubliners and people over 35 years of age were more aware of the availability of free recycling. The survey also showed that males still like to loiter around smelly dumps, with men visiting landfill sites more often than women, while women are more inclined to bring electronic goods to recycling centres than men.

“The fact is people can dispose of old or broken electronic equipment free of charge rather than paying to get rid of such equipment by disposing of it in the black bin, in a skip or at the local dump,” said Elizabeth O’Reilly, compliance manager with WEEE Ireland.

“We would encourage consumers to bring back all old or broken electronic equipment – no matter how big or small – to their local recycling centre or to a retailer when an equivalent item is being purchased.”

The survey polled 1,000 adults and was conducted by TNS mrbi.

Some 100,000 fridges and freezers, 250,000 TVs and computer monitors and two million lamps were collected by WEEE Ireland in 2007, along with one small household electrical item per person.

By Niall Byrne