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Irish WEEE scheme hailed a success

Ireland has seen a five-fold increase in waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) recycling since it implemented the WEEE directive in August last year.

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government Dick Roche said: By the end of May this year 21,500 tonnes were collected nationally, equivalent to an annual collection rate of 6.8 kg per person. Our EU target is to reach 4 kg per person by end 2008. This performance would place us on course to achieving 170% of our target within the first 12 months and to double our EU target by end 2008.

Ireland said it had recycled 85,000 fridge freezers, 78,000 televisions and almost 40,000 power tools since last August.

Roche added: These figures confound some of the doom-laden prophecies that were being bandied about last year.

He made the comments at a function to establish an Irish WEEE Monitoring Group, made up of relevant public and industry stakeholders, who will advise him on the continued implementation of the directive.

UK WEEE compliance solution Repic chief executive Dr Philip Morton said: It is great to see such a success in such a short space of time. The Irish scheme demonstrates that it has engaged all the stakeholders, helped the environment and the financing of historic WEEE, and has been willing to address any problems.

One of the keys to the Irish scheme has been an environmental management charge to help with the cost of historic WEEE. The charge is due to be reduced next month.

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