Ireland targets battery recycling with national campaign

Ireland has launched a nationwide initiative to encourage more battery recycling following a survey that found 90% of Irish people were aware that irresponsible disposal of batteries may have negative environmental consequences.

The scheme will be facilitated by compliance schemes WEEE Ireland and ERP, through their extensive network of battery collection boxes in retail outlets, recycling centres and other collection points.

Estimates reveal that if each person in Ireland were to bring just one battery back for recycling to their retailer, even without purchasing new ones, or to their local recycling centre, 100 tonnes would be diverted from landfill.

Speaking at the campaign’s launch, Environment Minister Phil Hogan said: “Ireland has a strong reputation among its European neighbours for being environmentally aware but we can certainly do more when it comes to the responsible recycling of batteries.

“Considering the negative impact that waste batteries has on the environment if disposed of incorrectly, it is concerning that such a high percentage is still being sent to landfill.”

ERP Ireland’s CEO Martin Tobin added: “Since the launch of the EU Waste Battery Directive in September 2008, ERP has worked to reassess the nation’s attitude towards recycling waste batteries. With the country’s support, the volumes of batteries recycled has increased year on year.

“We can however do more and, even by achieving the target of recycling 25% of batteries put on the market, three in every four batteries may not be presented for recycling by the public.”

Maxine Perella

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie