Easter Waste Control – You can do it!

Easter 2023

For the many families that celebrate Easter and for those who don’t we wish you all the best over the coming days. Easter is usually a time when families come together and enjoy good food, mark the end of Lent or simply make the most of a day or two off work with some gardening or rest.

Photo by George Dolgikh on Pexels.com

The Occasion

Inevitably lots of food, drinks and snacks are bought some of which go to waste. Ireland produces over one million tonnes of food waste yearly, with approx. one-third collected from households. That is a lot of money wasted, and waste created.

The Irish EPA say Irish households threw away an estimated 241,000 tonnes of food (31% of the total) in 2020. This includes food waste collected in kerbside collections, brought to civic amenity sites and disposed of in home composters. That is about 48 kg per person or €72.00 per person when using the price of 1KG of sugar.  Would you burn €72.00?

Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

While it’s important that we all eat well and stay healthy we can also take some steps to help reduce waste and save money starting with the introduction of mindfulness into our shopping!

The Steps

1: Refuse

As much as you can, refuse to buy into the silly stuff this Easter. Reuse, repurpose or make your own food and gifts. Start with easter baskets full of chocolate-filled hot cross buns and mini homemade eggs.

2: Reduce

When buying Easter food, try to reduce the amount of packaging. You’re paying a premium for fancy packaging and cardboard boxes for the chocolate eggs.

Plans your Easter Sunday meal in advance, get portion sizes right and make use of the leftovers on Easter Monday. This can all reduce waste and save you money.

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on Pexels.com

3: Reuse

Look for products and packaging made from recycled paper and cardboard. Buy second-hand from charity op shops. Going for reusable alternatives over disposable single-use products can greatly reduce your waste footprint. (Real glass over paper cups).

4: Repurpose

Repurpose leftover boxes, containers or fruit punnets into kids’ art supplies or handy containers to hold pens or pencils. Get the family involved.

5: Recycle

Despite our best efforts, most of us will still end up with waste which should be separated and recycled safely. Holidays may be a great time to sit back and unwind, but recycling rules don’t change over a long weekend. Do your best and others will follow!

About Recycle IT

Recycle IT is an award-winning not-for-profit social enterprise providing a collection and drop-off service for all types of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). Recycle IT provide drop off and collection services to thousands of homes and businesses across Dublin and surrounding areas collecting a range of WEEE which includes thousands of laptops, computers, cookers, cables, monitors, microwaves and TVs.

Recycle IT services are provided in partnership with WEEE Ireland. Recycle IT is supported by Pobal, South Dublin County Council and authorized by the National Waste Collection Permit Office and the local authorities in the Eastern-Midlands Waste Management Region.

Recycle IT – Truck

Visit our website for further details.

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 csp@pobal.ie

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 www.recycleit.ie or call 01 4578321.

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

Real Computer Recycling

It can be achieved!

The reality is nearly everything in a computer can be recycled. With our recycling initiative, we try to promote reuse first, but most of the computers, laptops servers and communication equipment we deal with are years out of date and beyond repair and reuse. Many have had parts removed or damaged on arrival but they all can be recycled.

Laptops for Recycling

How a standard PC can be recycled:

Keyboards, mice, and other computer accessories are usually made of plastic and are recyclable. The plastic goes through a shredding process and is then sold on the commodities market as mixed plastic scrap.

Some recyclers use optical sorters that create a very clean stream of plastic, with minimal metal contamination. Usually, the plastic is further purified and compounded with virgin plastics and pelletized. This pelletized resin can then be used as a recycled-content plastic.

For example, Recycle IT operates in a supply chain where plastic is processed for reused – to make new parts – a process that has a smaller carbon footprint, lighter environmental footprint and can deliver a cost saving over manufacturing from new materials.

Computer and Laptops

Chassis/Base – these materials are primarily made of metal (PC Chassis) or what’s known as PC/ABS plastics, which are recyclable. Some laptops also feature carbon fibre mixed with polycarbonate plastics to keep the base cool to the touch. This material is not currently widely recycled, but it can be used in waste-to-energy processes.

Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs), processors, and memory – these are made of multiple types of plastics, fibreglass and precious metals that can be recycled. Scrap copper, precious metals like gold, and some other non-ferrous metals are commonly recovered from computer circuit boards and other components.

Personal Computer System Boards

Once these materials have been sorted out they go through more specialized processes, e.g., circuit boards first into copper recovery, followed by specialized refining of the residues to recover other metals. These processes are usually accomplished through smelting or sometimes through hydro-metallurgical processing via acids or cyanide compounds in order to recover gold and other precious metals.

Batteries – when computers and laptops come into our facilities, the battery is removed from the system manually. Once removed, batteries are separated, packaged safely, and sent for recycling.  Once they reach their destination, the plastic casing is manually separated while the rest of the material is refined through a thermochemical process at high temperatures to separate various materials). The result is a metal alloy and a stony waste material separated from metals during the smelting: the metal alloys are further treated to recover cobalt, nickel, copper, and iron; lithium is typically concentrated in the stony waste material and is often recovered.

Computer cables

Cables – wire and cable that is not damaged can be reused directly. The high-grade copper can also be recovered by manually removing insulation with simple tools or by chopping wire into small pieces. After arriving at a specialised facility they undergo a hydrological process in which the small pieces of insulation float while the copper sinks. Unfortunately, the plastic insulation from the wire-chopping process is very hard to recycle and is usually sent to a waste-to-energy facility.

Screens – many manufacturers have stopped using mercury and arsenic in flat panel monitors making it easier to recycle display panels at their end-of-life. The recycling approach for LCD panels involves the separation of the glass substrate, polarizer foils, and the elements indium and copper into individual outputs. This process is carried out in Ireland, and we are delighted to be able to supply screens for safe recycling,

IT Equipment

Fans – made of plastics and metals, which can be separated and recycled.

Other parts – there are other things that go into your computer, like screws, springs, small plastic parts, etc. and they are generally made from the materials above, making them mostly recyclable. They typically make up only a small portion of the overall product.

Packaging – As part of recycling we receive a lot of corrugated cardboard, as well as other materials like plastic bags and creates. We try to reuse these items; we bale cardboard for reuse but some of the materials can’t be reused at present and are sent for heat recovery through incineration.

In support of Recycle IT – please recycle old, unused electronics. It helps the environment with reuse, reduces the mining of new raw materials and creates training and employment for people returning to work after an absence.

About Recycle IT 

Recycle IT, is a social enterprise offering electrical, electronic and metal recycling services through drop-off and collection. Services are provided in partnership with WEEE Ireland and South Dublin County Council. Recycle IT is supported by Pobal and Dormant Accounts and authorized by the National Waste Collection Permit Office and the local authorities across Leinster.

For more information on Recycle IT please call 01 4578321, email info@recycleit.ie or visit our website www.recycleit.ie

Click here to learn more about recycling metal with Recycle IT.

Dormant Accounts Fund Logo
Recycle IT is Part Funded through the Dormant Accounts Fund

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.

Electrical Appliances in an Apartment

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. Multiple configurations are used, from recycling rooms to underground car parks, basements and outdoor collection areas, 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 accommodation type in Dublin with 44 Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) currently operating; under construction; granted planning or seeking planning permission in 2019.

Student Apartments Dublin

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 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, info@recycleit.ie, 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 info@recycleit.ie 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 e.g.google 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