Ministerial visit to Recycle IT

Monday, March 6th 2023

Minister for Community Development, Integration and Charities, Joe O’Brien TD, made a visit to Recycle IT on Monday, March 6th, 2023. Board members and the staff team were on hand to greet the minister and share details on the work of Recycle IT a social enterprise striving to create training and employment opportunities through the recycling of old, damaged, or unused electrical and electronic equipment collected from homes and organisations. 

Minister Joe O’Brien on arrival at Recycle IT


During the visit to Recycle IT, Minister Joe O’Brien made time for an important announcement, the Minister said:

“I am delighted to launch a new Call for Applications under the Community Services Programme (CSP). The purpose of this funding is to support social enterprises and community/voluntary organisations with an additional strand focusing on circular economy projects that are either Traveller led or ones that will primarily employ members of the Traveller community.”

Funding of €1 million will be available for this new call in 2023 which will provide new organisations with an opportunity to access support to employ additional staff in line with the programme’s re-defined sub-programmes and new vision, which were approved in 2022.

Minister Joe O’Brien and Recycle IT Voluntary Board of Directors

Pre-application support workshops will be rolled out to ensure organisations are fully equipped with the information that they need to apply for this funding. As a first step, an Information Event will be held for organisations interested in applying for the programme on the week beginning 20 March 2023. Details will be shared on the Pobal CSP webpage and on the Department of Rural and Community Development social media channels. Organisations that wish to be notified about the workshops can also contact

Following the pre-application support, organisations will be invited to submit a short concept note to Pobal outlining their proposal for assessment against the objectives of the call and organisations will then be informed whether their proposal fits with the call.

The Minister continued:

“The CSP supports a range of services, facilities and activities that enhance the quality of life for specific disadvantaged groups within our communities. This open call will be essential in broadening the range of services available and bringing new organisations onto the programme. I am delighted to say that we will also have a range of support workshops to assist those organisations in applying to the CSP Programme.”

Minister Joe O’Brien

About CSP

The Community Services Programme (CSP) supports over 420 community-based organisations including Recycle IT to provide local services through a social enterprise model. This model helps create training and employment opportunities for specific disadvantaged groups and individuals, such as people with disabilities, Travellers, recovering drug misusers, ex-prisoners, and long-term unemployed.

About Recycle IT

Recycle IT is an award-winning social enterprise providing community, personal and business recycling services for all types of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in Dublin and surrounding counties.

During 2022 Recycle IT offered drop off and collection services to thousands of homes, schools, charities and businesses across Dublin and surrounding areas collecting a range of WEEE which included thousands of computers, cables, monitors, microwaves, TVs, and computer screens.

Recycling services offered by Recycle IT are provided in partnership with WEEE Ireland. Recycle IT is supported by the Pobal-managed, Community Services Programme, Dormant Accounts and by South Dublin County Council. Recycling services are authorized by the National Waste Collection Permit Office and the local authorities across Leinster.

For more information about Recycle IT please visit or call 01 4578321.

The Recycler IT Team – Farewell to Minister Joe O’Brien

Dublin Apartments Recycling Initiative

Electrical Recycling from Apartments

Over our years in operation, Recycle IT has predominantly engaged with householders, residents’ groups, schools, businesses, and community organisations to collect and safely recycle waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).  

Apartments dwellers have been harder to reach. There is no one way to describe apartment buildings. Apartment development and types of apartments differ widely, from high-rise developments to smaller individually owned properties.


Some are large 300 (+) unit properties owned by international companies’ and others are developed with social needs in mind. This leads to numerous differences in the way waste and items for recycling are held onsite and collected. From recycling rooms to underground car parks, basements and outdoor collection areas, multiple different configurations are used depending on the apartment block.

These differences alongside contacting the right person make it hard to reach apartment recyclers easily. But now with a greater emphasis on the environment, safe recycling, and the mantra of reducing, reusing, recovering, and recycling, Recycle IT is going to try.

Apartment Growth

Another reason to try is that the increase of households in apartments continues to grow at a faster rate than any other accommodation type. This is according to Census 2016. The number of occupied apartments rose by 11.4% from 183,282 to 204,145 over the 2011-2016 period.

Apartments, which have increased in number by 85% since 2002, accounted for 12% of all household types in 2016, compared with 11.1% in 2011. More apartments than houses were granted planning permission in 2020 for the first time in the history of the State.

Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures show planning permissions were granted for 26,224 apartments in 2020. The majority (74%) is earmarked for Dublin.

Students’ apartment blocks are also a relatively new accommodated type in Dublin with 44 Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) currently operating; under construction; granted planning or seeking planning permission in 2019.

Apartment Building

Our Project

The purpose of the project is to define and support electrical recycling opportunities for new and existing apartment locations in Dublin.

Project Goals included:

  • ensuring access across Dublin to at least one electrical recycling collection event for all residents/households wishing to recycle within the apartment complex per year.
  • increase the quantity of electrical and electronic equipment recycled by the individual, shared and family households based in apartment complexes.
  • ensuring the electrical and electronic equipment collected are recycled safely.
  • improve the reuse and recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) to help reach the European Union target of 65% minimum collection for recycling of WEEE (EU WEEE Directive).
Mixed Electrical Equipment for Collection and Recycling

Recycle IT is authorized to offer this WEEE pilot recycling project to apartments interested in arranging a recycling colleciton for all apartments in a complex located in the following Dublin county council areas.

  • South Dublin County Council 
  • Dublin City Council 
  • Dun Laoghaire / Rathdown County Council

Project Benefits

Waste electrical and electronic equipment is expected to grow continually over the coming decades.  As tech is increasingly used for work, entertainment, communication, home safety and garden and general maintenance, we will all accumulate lots more!  

A study of environmental impacts based on the whole recycling chain of electrical and electronic waste demonstrated that the recycling option is much more ecologically advantageous than simple incineration and should be encouraged as the most suitable treatment option. Source: European Commission.

WEEE Ireland Facts

Remember that recycling WEEE can provide the following benefits-

  • Offering residents the opportunity to recycle in the correct manner.
  • Less e-waste in the bin means fewer items in landfills and therefore, less pollution and toxic waste.
  • The amount of waste gets reduced, which gives you more savings on general waste collection costs and related taxes.
  • We can save energy by reusing metals such as aluminium instead of having to have them made from raw materials.
  • Environmentally conscious management companies can enhance their reputation.
  • Recycling is completely in line with the WEEE directive and ensures individuals and businesses stay compliant.
  • Help Ireland the European Union target of 65% minimum collection for recycling rate (EU WEEE Directive).
Residents Collection Event

What Next?

The responsibility for apartment buildings and their operation does vary and with that in mind we would like to contact:

  • Apartment property managers
  • Apartment building managers
  • Apartment facility managers
  • Apartment maintenance and/or cleaning teams
  • Apartment residents committee members or Chairperson

We would like to make contact with those persons or groups interested and with the authority to arrange the recycling of old electrical equipment from apartment complexes.

We are also interested to help older people living in managed and serviced apartments or residential care units recycle old electrical items safely.

Please do contact us at email,, call 01 4578321 and we will follow up shortly after.

About Recycle IT

Recycle IT is an award-winning social enterprise providing recycling collection and drop-off services for all types of waste electrical, electronic equipment (WEEE) and pure metal items.

Recycle IT services are provided in partnership with WEEE Ireland. Recycle IT is supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development, Dormant Accounts Fund, Pobal, South Dublin County Council and authorized by the National Waste Collection Permit Office and the local authorities across Leinster.

For further details about our services for apartment complexes, call us on 01 4578321, email or visit the Recycle IT website at 

Apartments Dublin

Gifting or Replacing Mobile Phones

Gifting, Upgrading, Replacing

With Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas, just past and Valentine’s Day fast approaching new mobile phones are chosen by many as a gift for the special day. At the same time, many of us just upgrade or replace old phones with a new, faster, increasingly secure gleaming model! According to the Minerals Education Coalition, about 140 million mobile phones are disposed of every year. But what happen with the old once loved mobile phones?

Drawer with Old Mobile Phones

Some options

There are an increasing number of options for recycling and reusing old mobile phones some of which are listed below.

  • When you buy a new mobile phone in a shop, ask how you can recycle your old one.
  • If your unwanted phone is in good working condition and reasonably up-to-date, online resellers and some high street shops buy electrical or electronic items, especially if you have the original box, charger and instructions.
  • Old, unused, broken mobile phones can be disposed of at most recycling centres alongside small electrical items – find your nearest in Dublin here.

Some charities did accept mobile phones in the past. This option seems to have ceased but safe recycling is still an option, It’s really good to know phones are recyclable and many parts can be recovered so please don’t send them to a landfill or leave them in the drawer for years.

Old Mobile Phones


Mobile phones contain a range of materials including valuable fragments such as silver – which can be extracted and re-used. The variety of metals used includes aluminium which is lightweight and usually found in the phone case. Lithium cobalt oxide and carbon graphite are used to make the batteries. Elements like gold, copper and silver are used in the wiring of the phone. Platinum and tungsten are used in the circuitry. Another common material found in mobile phones is plastic which can be used instead of lightweight metal in the case.

Very Old Mobile Phones

Before you retire your old phone

  • Back up your data e.g. photos, music, messages, emails, contacts etc
  • Turn off any payment services pay where your card details are stored
  • Sign out of apps that hold your personal information e.g. social media sites and email accounts.
  • Delete saved passwords on your browsers – e.g. google chrome.
  • Remove your SIM card and any backup or external storage
  • Wipe the phone with a factory reset.

If you are unsure of how to perform the above actions you can try the user manual if you still have one. Alternatively, if you know or can find the phone model number you will most likely find the steps online and there may be a video on YouTube to help.

If the above action doesn’t work for you, Recycle IT can help with the cost-effective breakdown and destruction of your old mobile phones. The process places the phone beyond reuse, while also safely recycling the component parts for processing and eventual reuse in new products.

About Recycle IT

Recycle IT is an award-winning, not-for-profit, social enterprise established to create employment and promote environmental awareness through recycling and reuse. We work in partnership with WEEE Ireland and are authorized by your local authority to provide electrical, electronic and pure metal recycling collections across Dublin since 2007. Recycle IT are fully compliant with WEEE Recycling Requirements and permit details are available here.

For more information about Recycle IT please click here.

Damaged Mobile Phones

Reusing or Recycling Toys

Toy Recycling for good! 

Toys help create an imaginative world of play and fun, they can help build social skills and ease demands on parents!  Sometimes the most expensive toys are not the best option as kids enjoy playing with items from their homes. They can build props like a playhouse or space rocket out of reused cardboard boxes and tubes, creating their own special world.

Battery-Operated Toys for Recycling – Recycle IT

Most homes with kids have lots of toys. Storage containers are filled to the brim with, dolls, action figures, building blocks, cars, remote-controlled flying machines, games devices,  and many other items. Our question? What do parents and children do with old favourites when the new toy or game arrives?

Involve Children

Kid toys are exactly that, kids toys so it’s wise to keep children involved in any decisions regarding the future of their toys. Parents can be helpful by reinforcing the fact that their once loved yet unwanted items will be reused by kids with a greater need and the fact that the environment benefits by keeping these items out of landfills or incinerators should be valued.

Battery-Operated Toys for Recycling - Recycle IT
Mixed Battery-Operated Toys for Recycling – Recycle IT

Toy Reuse

With Christmas right around the corner, many people are looking to find the best toys to buy this Christmas. And if you’re adding new toys to your children’s collection, you might be wondering what to do with the old toys.

Here are all the places you can donate gently used toys, including electronics, stuffed animals, dolls and other items. Before you pack up the car, call ahead to make sure the organisation you’ve chosen is currently accepting donations.

  • Local charity shops
  • Community creche facilities or playgroups
  • Facebook or online community reuse groups
  • Hospitals or doctor’s surgery play areas
  • Children’s homes and shelters
  • Community daycare facilities
  • Schools
Battery-Operated Toys for Recycling - Recycle IT
Battery-Operated Toys for Recycling – Recycle IT

Electronic Toys

Toys with computer chips, computer screens, lights, noise, plugs, batteries or other electronic components can and should be recycled. They should not be added to domestic waste. We know from experience this is not the case as very few electrical toys make their way to us for recycling. Recycle IT offer collection and drop-off services and will accept electrical and electronic toys including games consoles, cameras, tablets, remote control cars or planes, dolls, action figures, watches or replica phones. The list is endless but any toy with a plug or battery is acceptable for recycling.


Recycling and repurposing are environmentally responsible. You should involve your children. You can make sure your children understand the concept of recycling and the value old or broken toys have for others. Reused toys can bring joy to a child or recycling can help create a job!

Toys IMG_1195 (1)
 Electronic Toys / Entertainment Equipment for Recycling – Recycle IT

About Recycle IT

Recycle IT is an award-winning social enterprise providing recycling collection and drop-off services for all types of waste electrical, electronic equipment (WEEE) and pure metal items.

During 2022 Recycle IT operated drop-off and collection services to homes, schools, charities and businesses across Dublin and surrounding areas collecting a range of WEEE including thousands of batteries, computers, cables, monitors, kettles, microwaves and screens.

Recycle IT services are provided in partnership with WEEE Ireland. Recycle IT is supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development, Dormant Accounts Fund, Pobal, South Dublin County Council and authorized 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

Social Enterprise in Ireland

Social Enterprise – it’s moving forward! 

The Social Enterprise sector in Ireland offers approx. 25,000 – 35,000 jobs, about €1.4 billion in economic activity and addresses numerous challenges faced by Irish society.

A 2012 report from Forfas defines social enterprise in Ireland as “an enterprise that trades for a social/societal purpose, where at least part of its income is earned from its trading activity, is separate from government, and where the surplus is primarily reinvested in the social objective.”

Social Enterprise at Work – Recycle IT

The report also lists the four categories under which social enterprises trade

  • commercial opportunities that are established to create a social return;
  • employment opportunities for marginalized groups;
  • economic and community development organisations;
  • services delivery organisation

From experience, it can be said that these four categories almost always overlap and are shared objectives for many social enterprises.

The Social Enterprise Sector

There are an estimated 1400 Social Enterprises operating in communities all over Ireland. These include services such as meals on wheels, youth cafés, care organisations, creches, credit unions, leisure centres, community centres and a whole array of other businesses.  They offer essential services and tackle problems in society such as food poverty, housing or environmental issues.

In 2014 Forbes said “Ireland has a buoyant social enterprise sector, benefiting from a marked increase in the calibre of social entrepreneurs, and growing numbers of them.

Forbes also suggested social enterprises are contributing significantly to Ireland’s economic recovery, especially in job creation” It seems once Ireland formalizes the sector and introduces a national policy there will be an opportunity to grow jobs in the sector and deliver further services in rural and urban communities.


The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has been actively involved in the European social enterprise and social economy agenda for more than 10 years and supports social enterprise growth and development as a key element of the European social model.

2020 1 EU Social Enterprise
European Economic & Social Committee Click Here to Read

How is the Irish Social Enterprise Sector Viewed!

In 2016, the top 10 countries in the world for social enterprise action were recorded as the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Singapore, Israel, Chile, South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia and France. Ireland currently ranks in second-last place on the list according to research by the Thompson Reuters Foundation (2016)

The criteria used to determine if there is a favourable environment for social enterprise include:

  1. Conditions are favourable for social entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses
  2. Government policy supports social entrepreneurs
  3. It is easy for social entrepreneurs to get grant funding
  4. It is easy for social entrepreneurs to access investment (debt and/or equity)
  5. Social entrepreneurs can access the non-financial support they need (e.g. financial, legal and technical advice; access to markets and networks; coaching, mentoring and training)
  6. It is easy for social entrepreneurs to sell to the government
  7. It is easy for social entrepreneurs to sell to business
  8. It is easy for social entrepreneurs to sell to the public
  9. It is easy for social entrepreneurs to attract staff with the required skills
  10. The public understands what social entrepreneurs do
  11. Social entrepreneurs can make a living from their work in my country
  12. Social entrepreneurship is gaining momentum

The fact that Ireland is ranked 42nd out of 44 nations across the world suggests that social enterprise ideas and organisations face challenges right from the initial startup.

The Future

In early 2017, it was announced that regional economic development minister Michael Ring TD was to bring forward an Irish national policy for social enterprise some four years after a Forfas report recommended such an action.  This long-awaited policy can help Ireland create a well-defined social enterprise sector.

Once the sector has a formal and defined status there is potential to access funding for good ideas and combined with strong leadership these ideas can grow and develop to service the needs of many local communities, individuals and groups.

2020 2012 Forfas
Types of Social Enterprise Source: Forfas

Potential funding sources include the European Fund for Strategic Investment, a variety of grants as well as income from government tenders and business contracts for the delivery of services.

In July 2017,  the Dept of Rural and Community Development established a research partnership with the Social Finance Foundation for the purpose of carrying out targeted research and stakeholder engagement with the social enterprise sector to inform the development of the National Policy.

Speaking in the national parliament, Dáil Éireann in June 2018 Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD said: “The Action Plan for Rural Development includes a commitment to develop and publish a National Policy on Social Enterprise, which will encompass the full range of activity in the sector”.

National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 

The Department of Rural and Community Development published Ireland’s first-ever Social Enterprise Policy in July 2019.

The National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019-2022 is focused on three key Objectives:

  • Building Awareness of Social Enterprise;
  •  Growing and Strengthening Social Enterprise and
  • Achieving Better Policy Alignment.

The National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland is part of a suite of policy initiatives from the Department of Rural and Community Development to support those who work with communities and disadvantaged groups. Other initiatives include a new Strategy for the Community and Voluntary Sectors and a new National Volunteering Strategy, both of which will be published this year.

Recycle IT – Rethink Ireland Awardee 2021

Social Enterprise at Work

Recycle IT operate an electrical recycling business in the social economy sector with the aim of creating social, economic and environmental value. Our team provide recycling services for communities and the market. Any profits generated are used to support social objectives which include a range of community-focused services.

Profit is not shared with company directors and the organisation has no commercial stakeholders. Our board is voluntary and any profits are reinvested in recycling operations. Recycle IT is a not-for-profit Social Enterprise.

Our awarding-winning recycling service is friendly and effective, yet not glamorous. Work is hard but offers real opportunities for training and skills development. Teamwork helps support our goals and everyone involved “works to do good” while simultaneously helping to ensure financial sustainability. There is a focused approach to identifying and managing revenue streams to support the company to cover operating costs and reinvest for the future.

What’s Good?

Social enterprise success generally means more social and/or environmental good with profits reinvested to deliver change.

Usually, social enterprises have more inclusive and diverse structures with women and men coming from a wide range of backgrounds to help start-ups, develop and lead organisations. Social enterprises work on a range of challenges using the tools of business to advance ideas and deliver services. Social Enterprise is likely to be more innovative and experiment more than traditional businesses as they work to fill gaps in the market that are of little interest to public sector bodies and profits are limited for the private sector companies. Finally, most work collaboratively and bring people on a journey of change.

Learn more about twelve Social Enterprises operating in Dublin: Click each one:

Click here to learn about the impact on communities when you decide to buy from a social enterprise.

Third Space
Aspire Productions
House of Akina
The Yard @ Solas Project.
Recycle IT
Walkinstown Green
Clean Slate

Social Enterprise Promotions Event and Supports

  1. SoCircular Trade Expo, Mansion House, Dublin 2, Wednesday 5th October 2022 – Learn more
  2. #getsocialdublin– Asking Citizens & Businesses to Support Social Enterprises –Learn more
  3. SocialiSE 2022 – The Summit for Social Enterprise – June 2022 Learn more and register
  4. Social Impact Ireland – Conversations of Impact – Impactful People – June 2022 – Learn more
  5. WISE Project – Launch – Directory of Work Integration Social Enterprises – June 2022 – Learn more
  6. Social Enterprise Dublin – six organisations identified, that by working together, they could deliver superior quality supports to Social Enterprise in Dublin. Learn more

About Recycle IT

Recycle IT is an award-winning social enterprise providing recycling collection and drop-off services for all types of waste electrical, electronic equipment (WEEE) and pure metal items.

Recycle IT services are provided in partnership with WEEE Ireland. Recycle IT is supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development, Dormant Accounts Fund, Pobal, South Dublin County Council and authorized 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

Read about social enterprise funding here.

Recycle IT – Winners 2022