WEEE Ireland has been running a WEEE Primary Schools awareness programme since 2007. We have presented this programme in over 1,000 schools and it has been well received and is highly commended.

In 2009/10 we wish to extend this programme to Secondary Schools and are designing a new programme aimed at Transition Year Second Level students. The programme is completely funded by WEEE Ireland and gives a comprehensive understanding of the importance of recycling WEEE and Batteries and the positive impact it has for the environment. It is a practical programme which will enable the students to make a real difference in their school and local community by running their own awareness project. The School also benefits from the provision of a recycling bins for WEEE and Batteries which gives the students a hand on involvement in the recycling process. These bins will be collected at the end of the programme and forms part of the overall project.

The project which will take place over the period of four weeks will then get entered into our national “Battery Recycling Awareness Competition 2009/10” which will be judged by a panel of experts. The winning entrants will receive much highly sought after prizes for their schools at the awards ceremony which will be held at the end of the school year. All schools who enter the competition will receive a Certificate reflecting the achievement of completing the programme, with individual certificates available to each transition year student who works on the project.

The programme is made up of three parts:

1) The presentation

The first part is a visit to the school by a WEEE Ireland presenter who will present to the students “Recycling Electrical Goods in Ireland A SUCCESS STORY” and will then take the students through how the competition works and how best to approach the project. They will be at the school for approximately one hour in total. The presenter will have with them all the necessary equipment including a laptop and projector and will leave behind a copy of the presentation and all necessary documentation on a USB key for the students to use to get the project started.

The transition year students will then use the knowledge gained and the documentation and posters provided to educate the other students on the benefits of WEEE and Battery recycling and of the recycling opportunity which is being afforded the school with the provision of free recycling during the competition period.

The presentation will cover the following topics:

1. The historical problem of land filling WEEE / Batteries and the introduction of legislation to outlaw their disposal by landfill

2. The Statistics behind WEEE recycling in Ireland showing how millions of items have been recycled rather than disposed

3. The Categories, Components and different types of WEEE

4. Reuse of WEEE, refurbishment, dismantling and reuse of components, raw material recovery

5. How does recycling work – the life cycle of electrical goods

6. Where the nearest Recycling Centre is for the students using the WEEE Ireland Website

7. What happens in the Recycling Plant?

8. An explanation of what items can be brought into the school for recycling and how this will be measured

9. How to raise awareness in the school, the other students and at home

10. The community awareness project.

How to organize themselves to get the best results? Using the documentation provided. Visiting local business and getting the required information from them. Providing the battery boxes if required. How to compile and prepare the statistics? The preparation and submission of the final project document.


In each school a recycling event will also be held which is open to all students not just those who attended the presentation and participating in the project. Two 1000L wheelie bins will be delivered to the school. A formal letter has been drafted for the school which they can give to all the pupils to bring home to their parents informing them of the recycling opportunity and the types of items that could be brought in.

Posters supplied to the school will be put up by the transition year students as part of their project raising awareness of electrical recycling and the recycling day including the Do’s and Don’ts. An emphasis on small WEEE will be conveyed and no large household goods will be permitted.

The wheelie bins will then be collected be taken to a permitted facility where they will be weighed and inspected and then sent on for processing.

The school will also be provided with battery recycling boxes for its own use and for distribution to local businesses during the project. Batteries collected during the project at the school will be collected by WEEE Ireland when the recycling bins are taken away.

3) Project and Competition

The project should take no more than twelve hours over a calendar month to compile, to research and complete (Six school hours and six hours out of school. It gives the students the opportunity to put into practice in a real environment, problem solving techniques and thinking outside the box. Only one entry per school will be accepted so the students must also work as a team and organize themselves accordingly.

The purpose of project is to bring the battery recycling message, over a four week period, to the widest possible audience, broken down as follows:

a) Teachers and students

b) Parents and family relatives, neighbours

c) Local businesses

d) Community association, sports clubs etc.

On the USB key provided on the day of the presentation there will be prepared questionnaires, and reports in Microsoft Word and Excel for the students to use. The more information the students can collate to substantiate their project document, the higher the project will be marked.

A key element will require the team to document the statistics behind the figures submitted for the audience contacted and informed. To do this they will need to perhaps use the information available from the Central Statistics Office and through the internet.

The survey type questionnaires provided will be used to raise awareness throughout the community using interview techniques. Students, if it is permissible and practical, will go and visit local businesses and gather as much information as possible from them to raise awareness and also get a picture of recycling habits in the area in relation to battery recycling. They can also provide the business with a battery recycling box if they do not already have one and this is incentive for the business to get involved in the project as their customers will bring batteries back and purchase new batteries from them. For businesses that do not sell batteries, it gives them the opportunity for their staff to proactively start recycling at work. These boxes can then be taken by agreement to their nearest recycling centre or electrical retail take back shop and will be accepted free of charge.

Photographs of the recycling activities and testimonials of the interviewees of how recycling works in the community and on a day to basis will bring the project submission to life and illustrate to the panel the work carried out during the project timetable. Details of where you can recycle in the community will be invaluable information to the rest of the school students and their families.

The roll out of the project will start in September 2009 and will continue until May 2010 and will proceed on a County by County basis. The judging criteria of the projects will be proportionate to the community the school is based in, the amount of WEEE and batteries collected and standard of the project submitted.