The Power of Recycling Electronics

What does Electronic Recycling mean?

Electronic recycling, or e- waste recycling, is the responsible breakdown of equipment like old computers, smartphones, tablets, monitors, phones systems, games consoles, printers and televisions into component parts or fractions which can be reused

Tablet Computer Device
Tablet Computer Device

Licensed e-waste recycling facilities and recycling service providers offer drop off and collection services. Data can be securely destroyed leaving computers and laptops free of all personal information and ready to break down so that toxins and valuable resources are recovered properly. Metals like copper, aluminum, lead, gold and palladium can be recovered from computers, televisions and other personal electronic devices and reused.

Why Recycle Electronics?

Today rapid technology change, low initial purchase cost, and planned (built in) obsolescence have resulted in a fast-growing surplus of computers and other electronic devices in homes, offices and business around Ireland. The majority of electronic items today are lighter and/or smaller so people do hoard them. We want to encourage you to recycle these items, it helps to protect the environment, keep the circular economy moving and simply creates space.

It worth noting personal information can be retrieved from equipment dumped in the landfill or by the road side so why not take control and arrange disposal through a licensed electronics recycling organisation where you can arrange for your personal information be securely removed.

Today’s World 

In the USA there are approximately 24 general electronic devices per household according to the Consumer Electronics Association and if you think about it Irish households are not far behind this number. Across the world  PC sales have dropped substantially over the last number of years only to be replaced by sales of tablets and larger smartphones in consumer markets. It look like business is also on the move smarter and smaller technology!

Time - electronic Arm Watch / Smart Watch
Time – electronic Arm Watch / Smart Watch

Today’s Ireland

The Commission for Communications Regulation, ComReg reports that there were 5.4 million active mobile phone subscriptions at the end of March 2013. This figure jumped to 5.6 million active subscriptions by June 2014.  This equates roughly to 1.22 mobile phones for every man, woman and child in the country, irrespective of their age. That’s a lot!

We can see that digital device ownership in Ireland is moving ahead at pace with the average Irish home owning at least four connected digital devices never mind the non connected items. The Household Sentiment Survey by Eir estimated that 1.2 million homes had a tablet in 2013 with 1.8 million adults owning a tablet at the end of 2014.

Over the last 10-years Irish people have recycled 7 items per household per year. That’s 70 million items in total. Great news, but is it enough!

Mind the Gap

There is a “Gap” Over that 10-year period people are recycling only a fraction of electronic devices in their homes. What’s happening with the balance? Where are all those unused smartphones phones and first generation tablets going?. We do know some are in full working order and continue to be used or reused but the majority should be ready for safe sustainable recycling.

Where they go! 

Draws, sheds, attics, kids, grandparents and yes some electronic waste or e-waste finds its ways into household waste bins. Should toxic materials from electronic items be disposed off in this way?

Picture1 Logo Small Copy
Recycle IT – We Recycle IT

Substances like arsenic, lead, and cadmium can potentially leak into soil and ground water once sent to landfill sites or when dumped illegally. This damages plant and animal life and potentially impacts our food chain leaving our children, family and friends open to illness which may not be diagnosed for many years.

Help by Recycling Your Electronics!

In addition to toxins, electronic products such as games console, tablet devices, TVs, computers and monitors also contain valuable resources and materials, including precious metals, copper, plastics, and glass, all of which require energy to mine and manufacture. Recycling electronics not only keeps your old electronics out of our landfills, but also:

  • Conserves natural resources
  • Reduces pollution
  • Saves energy
  • Saves resources by extracting fewer raw materials from the Earth
  • Reduces the effects of climate change
  • Creates opportunities for reuse and re-purposing
  • Creates local employment
  • Safe destruction of confidential materials


To learn more about electronic recycling in Dublin please visit the Recycle IT website or call 01 4578321 to book a licensed and secure e-waste collection.

Recycle IT are a not for profit social enterprise. Working with us helps maintain and create training and employment opportunities.

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