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BLOG: The Business of Recycling your E-waste

   Tue, 25th May, 2021

Our May blog, written by Edita Jurkeviciute-Ptasinskis, our Business Development & Logistics Administrator, is a useful guide for business owners, IT managers and office managers, detailing why you should recycle your e-waste responsibly through KMK Metals Recycling, the steps you need to take and how it will be recycled. 

Why recycle?

Over 50 million metric tonnes of Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) are now generated worldwide every year. Can you imagine if this mountain of e-waste was not recycled responsibly? The damage that would do environmentally to a world that is already spiralling out of control.

Lots of electronic goods contain hazardous materials like heavy metals or batteries, that need to be handled, treated and recycled by experts like our staff here at KMK Metals Recycling.

According to the WEEE forum, globally only 17.4% of the world’s e-waste was actually recycled in 2019, which leaves a huge amount destined for landfill, burned or illegally traded. Not only is this causing detrimental health and environmental problems, it is also an incredible waste of valuable and critical raw materials.

Europe might be leading the way in terms of recycling WEEE but only 42.5% of e-waste is officially reported as collected and recycled and the lack of public awareness is preventing countries from developing circular economies for electronic equipment.

Targets in Europe are comparatively high and Ireland is one of the top performers. In 2019, WEEE Ireland, the national compliance scheme partnered with KMK Metals Recycling, was one of the few schemes in Europe to meet a landmark EU environmental Directive target to recover the equivalent of 65% of the average weight of all new electrical equipment placed on the market by its members over the three preceding years.

What can be recycled?

Basically, anything with a plug or battery can and should be recycled. This includes temperature exchange equipment, screens, lamps, large appliances, small appliances, IT equipment and display equipment.  A full list is available here

How to recycle your commercial e-waste

The first thing to do is contact us, either by phone (057 93 41634), email (info@kmk.ie) or through our online collection request form https://www.kmk.ie/collectionrequests

We offer an extensive, fully-licensed WEEE collection service for businesses across the 32 counties of Ireland. Business-to-Business (B2B) collections, depending on scale, are typically collected by our van fleet. These vans can manage consignments of up to six pallet spaces and 1500 KG of weight.

We will then provide you with a form to complete asking for the name and address of your company, contact details, your VAT number, access restrictions (if any), suitable collection times and any other relevant details.

You will need to provide a description of the material to be collected, the quantity, location, PO number (if available) and any preferences regarding the collection date.

All waste material must be prepared by the customer so that it is ready for collection i.e. unplugged/disconnected from sockets, free from surplus material of chemical, human, animal, plant or soil origin, any irrelevant safety warning labels removed.

All external packaging must be removed prior to collection. Paperwork will be completed and signed by both the driver and the customer.

You will receive an invoice/settlement from KMK Metals Recycling’s Accounts Department and a recycling certificate from our Logistics Department within one working week.

What happens to your e-waste?

When recycling appliances, our aim is to separate the metal material from other WEEE components, such as plastic, to leave clean, separated streams of ferrous, non-ferrous and precious metals that can be maximally recycled and recovered.

Recovering metals from WEEE is a complex process with the most important element being the efficient segregation of the individual metal materials. Initial shredding of material facilitates the separation of plastics from metals and internal circuitry.

The main processing plant on-site, the WEEE Plant, commissioned in 2011, involves the processing of small household electronic appliances, treating up to 15,000 tonnes per annum. The process involves the use of specialist equipment such as a rotating trommel, magnets, screens, shredders, eddy currents and wash plants to produce metals and metal-bearing commodities as well as plastics and components such as batteries and capacitors.

As a conveyor belt transports shredded material, a powerful overhead magnet separates metals from the waste stream. Further mechanical processing separates aluminium, copper and circuit boards from the material stream. Visual inspection and hand sorting further improves the quality of the extracted materials. The metal materials are then packaged and/or baled and shipped for further processing by our authorised outlets.

Whether it is high value material, such as jewellery scrap and metal pastes, or low-grade electronic scrap such as printed circuit boards, we have the expertise and best practice technology to recover the precious metals contained within, at maximum value to our customers.

Why choose KMK Metals Recycling?

KMK Metals Recycling is the industry leader, with over 40 years of experience. We provide for the environmentally sound management of waste metal in all its forms and collect over 75% of Ireland’s WEEE, bringing it to two state-of-the-art facilities in Tullamore, Co. Offaly and Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath, where it is processed by a team of highly-qualified staff using the best available technology.

KMK Metals Recycling is pushing to help drive a circular economy and aims to operate in a way that has a positive economic, social and environmental impact and continuous improvement action to prevent pollution.

As part of our recycling service, we supply an official recycling certificate to show that your WEEE equipment has been recycled to the highest of standards.

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