Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Masters of Science (Research)


Chemical & Process Engineering

First Advisor

Noel B. Duffy


This thesis follows two previous studies by the Author on the calculation of theoretical WEEE arisings, and an assessment of ecodesign practices in Ireland. It has established collection trials in five different locations throughout Ireland in order to characterise and quantify WEEE arisings, and to examine outlets for collected WEEE. Overall, during the twelve months of collection at the project locations, more than 450 tonnes of WEEE was collected from the public and recycled. Within the catchments of each facility, collection rates of between 2.1 and 3.5 kg/person/year were achieved during the twelve-month trial period. With further public awareness raising and the removal of recycling fees this suggests that on a local basis the 4 kg/person/year target of the Directive is achievable. It was shown that removal of a disposal fee resulted in a significant increase in collection rate, possibly due to a “clear-out” effect. Raising existing fees was shown to reduce the collection rate, though with some recovery after a period of time. A one day collection event in Kildare was very effective in collecting WEEE, and in achieving a higher than normal proportion of ICT and small brown goods collection. However, on a national basis the target becomes more problematic. Experiences from these collection trials have been used to establish best practice guidelines for the collection and monitoring of WEEE by local authorities. Based on the findings of this project and a review of current European practices a set of 38 recommendations are made. These are variously applicable to local authorities, retailers, recyclers, treatment facilities, refurbishers, manufacturers, importers. Government Departments, agencies and representative organisations. These will assist in the development of WEEE management and in the implementation of the WEEE Directive in Ireland.


MSc. In Chemical and Process Engineering.

Submitted to the Higher Education and Training Awards Council 22 November 2003.

Access Level