Drop Down Menu
  Business Directory Ad  


Rogue waste collections warning 02.09.13

HOUSEHOLDERS are being urged not to recycle unwanted TVs, fridges and freezers through unauthorised scrap collectors who strip them of component parts before dumping them at a risk to public health and the environment.
Compliance body WEEE Ireland said more than 16,000 tonnes of electrical waste was ending up in the hands of unlicensed operators each year through a combination of unauthorised door-to-door collections and thefts from recycling centres and electrical retailers' yards.
The organisation warned there was a risk of potentially harmful chemicals such as mercury, lead, cadmium and CFC gases leaking into the environment because items were being dismantled haphazardly. It said unauthorised collections could also damage Ireland's rate of compliance with EU recycling targets with the risk of fines being imposed in the future.
WEEE Ireland chief executive, Leo Donovan, said unauthorised electrical waste collection was a growing problem with container loads of metals and parts regularly leaving here for the UK, Europe and Africa.
He said 20 per cent of Ireland's electrical waste was now being diverted away from authorised recycling channels to unlicensed operators as the price of scrap metal remains strong. He said Irish nationals, non-nationals and international players were all involved in the industry.
"Authorised recycling operators are permitted and licensed to collect and manage WEEE in an environmentally sound manner. They are regulated with regular inspections and audits by local authorities and the Environmental Protection Agency," he said.
"Unauthorised operators will extract a few valuable components from an item and will discard the rest. They might be after a small fraction of copper but in the process they will break up a sealed unit and potentially release hazardous chemicals into the environment."
Ireland is currently meeting its WEEE targets with 170,000 tonnes of electrical waste - the equivalent of 200 jumbo jets - diverted from landfill in the past eight years.
Mr Donovan reminded consumers that recycling unwanted electrical and battery waste is completely free of charge through civic amenity sites; when buying similar items from electrical retailers and during authorised waste collection days.
Check out www.recyclefree.ie
Add to Favorites :: Return to > Top Stories    > News    > Home