Is Ireland Winning the WEEE Battle?

Report for 2020

The Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently published its annual Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Statistics Report for 2020.

We are delighted to share the news that a record 64,856 tonnes of waste electrical and electronic equipment were collected in Ireland for processing.

Mixed Household Electrical Equipment

This is the highest quantity ever recorded in Ireland. However, for the second year, we did not meet the waste electrical and electronic equipment collection target of 65%. We achieved a 60% collection rate, slightly reduced from the 61% recorded for 2019.

Recycling Trends

The trends identified by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency are listed below.

  • Ireland collected a record 64,856 tonnes of WEEE for treatment.
  • Ireland achieved a WEEE collection rate of 60% in 2020 as efforts to increase collection were outpaced by the growth in Electrical and Electronic Equipment placed on the market.
  • Large household equipment accounted for 56% (by weight). This includes washing machines, tumble dryers, cookers, ovens etc. ‘
  • Small electrical equipment accounts for 17% (by weight) of electrical items collected. This includes coffee machines, food processors, radios, kettles, toasters and similar items.
  • Fridges and freezers accounted for 16% (by weight).
Percentage Breakdown of WEEE collected in 2020 by Weight

Buying and Recycling

Generally, the purchase and usage of electronic goods are closely linked to people’s economic wealth. This is reflected in the WEEE data for Ireland for 2008-2020 shown in Figure 2.

Screens and Monitors

It is evident that the economic recession between 2008 and 2011 led to a decrease in the quantity of WEEE collected and recovered, as Irish householders and businesses did not replace electrical and electronic equipment as frequently during this period.

The growth in the Irish economy since 2012 has led to large rises in electrical equipment collected and recovered, which reached record highs in 2020.

This rise matches the reported increases in retail sales of electrical goods in 2020. The trend is likely attributable to changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic such as the widespread shift to remote working and a surge in household clear-outs.

Based on data provided by the Producer Register Limited, Ireland’s national register of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), there was an increase of 11% in overall EEE placed on the market in Ireland in 2020 compared with 2019, while there were considerably larger increases in quantities of ‘small IT and communications equipment, screens and monitors’ which rose by 32% and 31% respectively

Communication Equipment

European Reporting

As part of annual reporting under the EU WEEE Directive, the EPA compiles statistics on WEEE collection and treatment in Ireland. The data are required to be submitted to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, by 30th June of the reference year +2 (i.e. 2020 data were collected and processed in 2021 and reported in 2022). Following validation of the data by Eurostat, official statistics for all Member States are published on the Eurostat website as part of the following dataset here.

About Recycle IT

Recycle IT, is an award-winning Dublin-based, not-for-profit, social enterprise offering electrical, electronic and metal recycling. Services are provided in partnership with WEEE Ireland. Recycle IT is supported by Pobal, the Dormant Accounts Fund, and South Dublin County Council. Recycle IT is authorised by the National Waste Collection Permit Office and the local authorities across Leinster.

For further details about our free and cost-effective services call us on 01 4578321, email or visit the Recycle IT website at

Electrical items collection for recycling

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