Over the last 10 years, the amount of WEEE in Europe has grown at a staggering pace with consumers using more and more electronics in their day-to-day lives. When not disposed of properly, WEEE can be very harmful to human health. For example, TVs can contain lead which can be toxic to kidneys and nervous and reproductive systems, and could inhibit the mental development of young children and Foetuses if people are exposed to them after they have been improperly disposed of at the end of their lives.
Even items as small as batteries can be dangerous if not disposed of correctly. Some batteries contain potentially hazardous materials that, if not properly disposed of could seriously damage both the environment and human health through leakage.
Such electrical items as Fridges and Freezers contain many gases such as CFC, HCFC and HFC that can be extremely harmful to the planet. Recycling your old fridge, freezer, etc. is one way of contributing to the fight against climate change as it helps to stop the emission of these greenhouse gases that damage the ozone layer and encourage global warming.
What’s more, the amount of room left in landfills across Ireland is steadily decreasing. There simply isn’t room for electrical items to be thrown into them anymore.
Recycling reduces our dependence on depleting natural resources as Electrical and Electronic Equipment and batteries contain metals, plastics and even glass that can be used again if recovered properly through recycling. Recycling is an important part of creating a sustainable world as it benefits society, the environment and makes economic sense by creating jobs. Before the WEEE Regulations 2005 much of the WEEE in Ireland ended up in landfills.
When you recycle ‘anything with a plug or a battery’ you are helping to:
However, don’t forget that even though recycling is far better than throwing your old electrical goods in the bin, minimizing the amount of waste created in the first place, and reusing WEEE as much as possible is far better. Before you next upgrade your phone or TV, ask yourself if you absolutely have to and then whether anybody you know could make use of your old one, if it is in good working order. Also, buying rechargeable batteries makes sense not only financially but also environmentally. Small changes like these can make all the difference to your Green Footprint.
For more information on recycling in general, take a look at these sites:
For more information on the DANGERS of not recycling, look at these sites:
If somebody calls to your door asking for your old batteries or electronic equipment and promising to recycle it for you, BE CAREFUL!! WEEE contains harmful substances that could cause problems not only to the environment, but also to our health if it is not treated with the correct amount of care and attention. Unless you are certain that the people you are giving your WEEE to are authorised WEEE contractors, DON’T RISK IT. You can check whether a collector has the correct authorisations or permit to pick up WEEE with your Local Authority waste or enforcement officers.