WEEE Waste Information
The generation of waste electrical and electronic equipment is one of the major problems we all face in today’s modern world. Estimates suggest that the UK alone produces more than 2 million tonnes of it every year. The good news is that with improved techniques for reusing and recycling, up to 80% of a fridge freezer today can be sent to recycling rather than ending up on landfill.
From homes and businesses to institutions such as schools, charities and public offices, everyone has a duty of care to make sure that they dispose of WEEE ethically. There is plenty of legislation in place, of course, and the WEEE disposal and reclamation industry is now growing very fast indeed. The problem is that most WEEE products have a number of different components that have to be separated and handled in a variety of ways to ensure proper recycling. There is an issue around hazardous waste as many electrical devices contain components that are harmful to environment and to people.
Types of WEEE Waste
The range of WEEE covers most of the electrical equipment that you would find in your home or office. This includes fridges and freezers, cookers, televisions, computers and monitors, DIY tools and even fluorescent light bulbs and tubes. All this hardware needs to be classified and dealt with appropriately according to the current legislation. Other household appliances are not considered as WEEE including those that do not depend on electric components for their main purpose, for example gas cookers.
Find out more about types of WEEE waste.
WEEE Waste Management
As with all other waste management, that for WEEE involves using the waste hierarchy of prevention, reuse, recovery and recycling. In fact, all repurposing methods should be used before any component is sent to landfill. There are a range of companies available that handle specific types of WEEE such as old IT equipment. Legislation also means that producers and distributors of electrical equipment have to cover all or some of the cost involved in recycling as well as providing free pickup and delivery of old equipment when a new fridge or freezer is ordered.
Find out more about WEEE waste management.
WEEE Waste Equipment
The majority of WEEE equipment is found at the handling stage of the recycling process. The problem with all WEEE is that it is made of several different components including metal and plastic that all needs to be separated. Some of this is done manually by trained staff but there are machines such as shredders and grinders that help process a variety of types of WEEE on a large scale.
Find out more about WEEE waste equipment.
Legislation and WEEE Waste
The legal aspects of handling WEEE waste in the UK comes from EU directives and is covered in the Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations 2013. This covers the production of electrical equipment right through to its disposal. Producers and distributors have a responsibility to pick up WEEE when a new device is delivered and must cover their market share of the recovery/recycling process. Businesses and organisations, as with all other types of waste, have a duty of care to dispose of all their waste responsibility – using a licensed contractor who is registered to deal with any WEEE.
Find out more about legislation and WEEE waste.
WEEE Waste Services
For homeowners, the disposal of WEEE is relatively easy and is normally handled by local council sites and collection services. For businesses and other organisations, a WEEE disposal service will have to be engaged and there is an onus to make sure that items are disposed of safely. This includes choosing a registered and licensed company and having a clear audit trail of what has happened to the waste.
Find out more about WEEE waste services.