Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)
The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive provides for the recycling of electrical appliances. It is funded by a levy on the sales of all new electrical equipment from electric toothbrushes to fridge-freezers and cookers. In Ireland, this is drastically reducing the large number of electrical appliances that have been going into landfill sites creating toxic substances that would otherwise be around for generations to come. The charges fund the sending of electrical equipment abroad where it is dismantled and parts are reused or recycled.
Following a recent review of the charges in Ireland, the electrical recycling charges set for Ireland have been slashed. The revised prices will mean that only €10 (instead of €20) of the price of a new cooker, and €5 of the price of a new hob, goes to the recycling fund. Fridges are often full of harmful coolants and need to be handled carefully to ensure that all potentially toxic substances are carefully and totally removed – hence they normally have the highest WEEE charge – and the current rate for fridges is being reviewed.
For all the people of Sligo, the charges mean that we can recycle all electrical appliances for free. When consumers purchase a new electrical appliance, they can bring the old one back for free to the retailer. It does not matter where you bought the old appliance or the make of the old appliance. Some people may find it more convenient to actually bring their electrical equipment back to the recycling centres in the county FOR FREE – no gate charges apply. Anyone can bring back cookers, fridges, computers – indeed any electrical household appliance to the recycling centres in Deep Water Quay, Sligo Town, or in Tubbercurry for no cost whatsoever. This is all due to the financial support afforded through the WEEE charges.
The WEEE scheme is working very well - In the first 6 months of the scheme 190 tonnes of appliances in Sligo were collected and recycled. Nationally 200 new jobs have been created at recycling centres and five times more electrical appliances are now being recycled than a year ago.