Detective Ruby Collins and WEEE Ireland CEO Leo Donovan are following leads to discover and recycle end-of-life items. Photo: Conor McCabe Photography

Up to the challenge?

Find and recycle five end-of-life electrical items!

That’s the challenge for families across Cork in a bid to improve our recycling performance, after consumption soared in the last year.

The country’s largest e-waste recycling scheme, WEEE Ireland, is urging Cork residents to become e-detectives for the month of October and follow electrical leads around their homes to identify devices that are beyond repair.

Smartphones are set to be high on the hitlist – EU data shows they are the most unused and hoarded electrical items lying around Irish homes. The Follow Your Lead campaign aims to increase the supply of waste electrical recycling to local authority sites and retailer collection points to meet Ireland’s rising recycling targets.

A surge in lockdown spring cleaning saw 6,036 tonnes of electrical waste collected in Cork by the country’s largest recycling scheme in 2020, despite Covid-19 and travel restrictions.

WEEE Ireland CEO, Leo Donovan, said: “When you add it up, 5kg equates to a kettle, a laptop that won’t power up, a smartphone beyond repair, an unplayable small gaming device and that kitchen blender in the back of the cupboard that hasn’t worked for years. We are asking people in Cork to follow the leads and plugs to these defunct devices sitting in cupboards, attics, sheds, under beds and stairs, because the components and resources contained within this equipment could be put to better use.”

See for a map of free recycling drop-off points for WEEE beyond repair or reuse.