New research from ERP Ireland shows surprising facts about e-waste recycling

6 April 2022


On 15th March, Landbell Group company ERP Ireland announced the results of the second Recycling Habits during Covid-19 study by Coyne Research.


The research highlights recycling behaviours in year two of the Covid-19 pandemic, identifying items recycled, items repaired, as well as items kept unused in the home and the reasons for hoarding them.


The figures reveal a further increase in electronic waste recycling over the two years of the pandemic: in 2021, ERP Ireland collected over six million electronic items, up from 5.6 million in 2020.


Overall, ERP Ireland identified a 2.55% increase in electronic waste recycling per person. The company also highlighted a 9% increase in the recycling of ‘cold’ appliances like fridges and freezers, and a 10% increase in the recycling of small domestic appliances.


The nationally representative online survey, which was carried out amongst 1,000 adults aged 18+ years, also revealed that:


  • A kettle continues to be the most recycled item – with 3 in 10 claiming to have recycled one in the past 12 months
  • Two-thirds of respondents have unused electrical items in their home – and approximately 1 in 7 still have their first PC/laptop or mobile phone!
  • The possibility of using the electrical item again remains the primary reason for holding onto unused items, and
  • 1 in 12 repaired a large kitchen appliance and 7% of respondents repaired a PC in the last 12 months.


“We are delighted to see behavioural change through the pandemic and hope this continues thereafter. We commend ERP for their work in recycling electrical waste and batteries.  A circular economy provides us with the opportunity to consume fewer resources and to extend the productive life of the objects we buy and use. Our goal is to have a circular economy that reduces Ireland’s carbon impact and protects our natural resources, environment, and health.”

Ossian Smyth TD, Minister of State at the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications


“In Ireland, we have seen significant increases in domestic waste presented for collection and recycling. Consumers are increasingly more environmentally aware, and we have seen people’s recycling activities change for the better, but many are still hoarding electrical items for various reasons. We are encouraging Irish people to put their unused electrical items to better use by recycling at their local electrical retailer or recycling centre.”

Martin Tobin, CEO, ERP Ireland


The survey results were released just before Ireland prepared to enjoy a two-day public holiday on 17th and 18th March. The international community marked Global Recycling Day on 18th March and Minister of State and ERP Ireland both encouraged Ireland to “Go Green” and use the long weekend to recycle.


Landbell Group company, ERP Ireland provides WEEE and batteries compliance for producers in Ireland