Stilt walker Gary helped by brothers Tadg (age 11) and Rían O'Reilly (age 8) with Leo Donovan, CEO of WEEE Ireland. Picture: Conor McCabe Photography
41 businesses in Kilkenny have been included in an initiative that encourages people to reduce the amount of goods that they discard every year.
RepairMyStuff.ie is an online directory of over 800 authorised repair professionals across Ireland who can repair everything from watches to washing machines, mowers to mobile phones.
The directory aims to make the whole process of repair and reuse easier by connecting consumers with repair businesses.
People can search the Repairmystuff.ie website by category to find repair businesses in their area, as well as the business’s website and contact details.
WEEE Ireland, in conjunction with the White Goods Association, is supporting the initiative with a new 2020 drive to register more authorised repair engineers for popular electrical brands used every day in households across Ireland.
“For many of us it has, unfortunately, become the norm to replace a broken product with a new one without considering our repair options,” said Leo Donovan, CEO of WEEE Ireland.
“However, we can extend the life of our products and save on the cost of buying new by tapping into a network of repair services in Ireland for our appliances and almost everything else.
“For electrical products alone every house has an average of 72 products, 11 of which are broken or not being used any more.
“People are often surprised by the vast amount of items that can be repaired and how much it costs versus purchasing something new.
“Not only is this kinder to your pocket but it’s also kinder to the environment.”
As well as electrical products like PCs, mobile phones and appliances, RepairMyStuff.ie lists repair professionals for clothing and shoes, furniture and upholstery, watches and jewellery, musical instruments, garden equipment, sports and bicycle repairs.
Each person in Ireland produces over 586kg of waste each per year, the sixth highest in the EU. For household electronic waste alone, or e-waste, we generate 19kg per person.
An estimated 19 million pieces were diverted from landfill by WEEE Ireland in 2019 including 3.2 million lamps and lightbulbs,334,000 large household appliances, 194,000 TVs and monitors and 122,000 fridges.
According to the European Trade Association APPLiA, more than 80% of Europeans’ requests for a repair of a home appliance product resulted in actual repair.
“The longer we can extend the life of our appliances and keep resources in circulation the more we can reduce waste. This, along with quality recycling and recovery, can then lower the demand for raw materials used to manufacture new goods, reducing related energy use and emissions and supporting a more circular economy," said Mr Donovan.
The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment’s new Waste Action Plan 2020-2025 focuses on the development of a Circular Economy and encourages more repair and reuse.
This is part of an increased drive to prevent waste arising in the first place as well as further improving recycling and recovery rates in all sectors.
The RepairMyStuff.ie website is operated by local authorities, with Monaghan County Council the lead authority on the project and funding from the EPA through the National Waste Prevention Programme.
Free to use, registration is also free for any business that offers repair services in their local community. Details can be easily submitted for inclusion through an online form.
Consumers who choose to engage repair agents are advised that it is their responsibility to check all credentials and agree costs directly with the supplier before engaging in any repair work.
Authorised Repair status is provided through validation by the WEEE Ireland Compliance Scheme and the registered producers in Ireland.