Irelands environment minister approves criteria preparing for re-use of WEEE

Electronic repairs (Foto: ©Dieter Schütz /

Dublin, Ireland — The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Alan Kelly T.D., has approved the criteria developed by the WEEE Register Society Ltd. for preparing for re-use of WEEE organisations which marks the most significant development in the re-use of electrical and electronic equipment sector since the introduction of the WEEE system in Ireland in 2005.

While repair and re-use of WEEE is already well developed in Ireland, particularly in the social economy sector, the key to re-use organisations developing further is access to quality product. The WEEE Regulations provide for such access in a co-ordinated, efficient and effective manner for approved re-use organisations. Preparing for re-use organisations who wish to gain access to WEEE from collection points may apply for approval from the WEEE Register Society who have developed the approval process following consultation with re-use organisations, the EPA, producers and the WEEE compliance schemes. The criteria have now been set out and have been approved by the Minister as required by legislation.

A vibrant re-use market offers potential

„I am grateful to the WEEE Register Society who will approve and register re-use organisations for the purpose of the Regulations and who have developed the criteria and standards required in order to be recognised as an approved re-use organisation. The development of a vibrant re-use market in Ireland offers many potential social, environmental and economic benefits and we have created the appropriate regulatory environment to ensure that all stakeholders are in a position to play a full and active role in the development of re-use in Ireland”, commented the Minister.

Not-for-profit organisations dealing with re-use, while contributing hugely to waste management ecological issues, also play an extremely valuable role in the provision of training and job opportunities for workers and provide an alternative source of goods for low-income households. There are a number of key social, economic and environmental benefits to be gained from the development of a vibrant re-use marketplace in Ireland and re-use of WEEE is consistent within EU and Irish strategies, policies and directives towards a more sustainable future.

Re-use employes more people than recycling

In addition to the existing and potential employment in the recycling industry there is potential to create employment through greater re-use of WEEE. An analysis carried out by Rehab Recycle demonstrated that preparing a tonne of ICT equipment for re-use employed 11 times more people than in the recycling of an equivalent amount of material and generated 15 times more revenue than recycling of the equivalent quantity in the same period. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has estimated that 1,000 tonnes of electronics creates 15 jobs if recycled and 200 jobs if repaired and in Belgium, OVAM have a target for 2015 of re-using 5kg per person, per year and creating 3,000 jobs in the process.

Minister Kelly pointed out that „research has demonstrated the importance of promoting re-use of WEEE. In many instances products are being discarded when they are in full working order that could be diverted for re-use and resale. Development of a re-use sector provides an opportunity to make a significant contribution to social and economic growth by creating employment and ensuring sustainable economic growth whilst at the same time minimising environmental pollution.“

Each person or body corporate who wishes to become an approved preparing for re-use of WEEE organisation can apply either in writing or online to the WEEE Register Society for approval on an application form developed for this purpose. The form which will capture the information necessary to enable the Society make a considered decision before approving an applicant as suitable to carry on a business of preparing WEEE for re-use together with a FAQs document is available on the web-site of the WEEE Register Society.

Source: Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, Ireland