WEEE Ireland and Wisetek join forces on recycling Irish data technology

23 Nov 2017

From left: Sean Sheehan, CEO of Wisetek; Brian Cotter, global services executive, Wisetek; and Elizabeth O’Reilly, environmental compliance manager, WEEE Ireland. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

This new partnership will prioritise the secure recycling of waste electronic equipment and secure data sanitisation.

WEEE (Waste, Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Ireland is the country’s largest electrical and battery recycling scheme. Today (23 November), it announced a new collaboration with Wisetek, which will significantly augment the collection of waste and retired IT equipment around the country.

The partnership aims to ensure that the security of all redundant IT equipment is prioritised when waste electronic equipment is disposed of, in compliance with the environmental requirements of the WEEE Directive.

Elizabeth O’Reilly, compliance manager at WEEE Ireland, and Sean Sheehan, CEO of Wisetek, gave details of the plan at the DataCentres Ireland exhibition and conference at the RDS, Dublin.

Helping businesses with data management

Wisetek’s take-back of used technology and the secure sanitisation of the data held within it will operate as an additional service to businesses and other users who require additional steps in their data management chain, before they can release old and broken technology for recycling.

Wisetek achieved a milestone in 2017 by receiving WEEELabex certification for its recycling process. A mandatory requirement in Ireland, KMK Metals Recycling in Tullamore was the first to attain this standard in 2014.

Through the rigorous WEEELabex audit process, these SME recycling facilities are all certified to the highest technical standard for management of this waste stream.

Security of waste management has never been more important

O’Reilly said: “Here in WEEE Ireland, we are proud to manage sector-specific solutions across different aspects of WEEE waste management. More often than not, electronic and technological waste are one and the same.”

She emphasised the imminent GDPR as a key factor in ensuring IT waste is dealt with securely. “In light of the upcoming GDPR framework coming into force, it has never been more important that there are services in place to manage the recycling and repurposing of waste and retired IT equipment in a secure manner.

“We’re delighted to partner with Wisetek as the newest WEEELabex-certified facility in Ireland to bring additional capabilities to our recycling offering, ensuring that Irish consumers and businesses keep their old technology out of landfill and their data out of the wrong hands.”

All organisations whose core business involves processing data – from SMEs to financial services to hospitals – will be affected by the legislation, and must ensure that any waste electronic equipment is recycled in a manner compliant with the regulation.

Promoting resource efficiency

The announcement of this partnership between WEEE Ireland and Wisetek falls during European Week for Waste Reduction, and there are also negotiations being finalised for a new European framework towards a more circular economy.

Central to the circular economy package is resource efficiency, waste prevention, and the reuse of products and their components.

This partnership will see opportunities created in Ireland for more sustainable and responsible resource management, benefiting the environment and ensuring data is securely dealt with.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects