WEEE Waste Services
Businesses and organisations have a greater responsibility to dispose of their waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) than your average household. That means they have to find a suitable company to handle their waste sustainably and appropriately so that it just doesn’t end up on landfill, the last resort of all the waste we produce. Most disposal services will reuse, recycle and repurpose as much of this kind of waste as possible and are becoming highly successful at it as technology improves.
Find out about WEEE waste management here.
Home WEEE Disposal
For homeowners the disposal of WEEE waste is pretty simple. Not only do councils have facilities for taking the waste and managing it but the system of take back by producers and distributors means that large items are now picked up and recycled for free. If you buy a new cooker or fridge today, the cost will normally include the free removal of your old device.
Commercial WEEE Disposal
For businesses and organisations, the disposal of WEEE is a little more complicated. Not only do you have a duty of care to make sure that waste is handled sustainably, you need to choose a disposal company that is licenced to do remove and recycle that waste.
This will involve asking a number of questions such as:
- What kind of waste does a particular company handle?
- What measures do they take to repurpose/recycle the WEEE?
- What percentage of a particular item are they able to recycle or reuse?
- Are they licensed to carry this type of waste?
- Do they have a pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit?
- Does the WEEE disposal service supply the right waste transfer notes?
The distributor take back facility is also available for businesses but there is normally a cost involved.
Choosing the Right WEEE Disposal Service
As with any contractor, you need to check out your WEEE disposal service properly. Most businesses will have a one off need to dispose of this kind of waste, perhaps when they have new hardware installed. Others might produce WEEE more often and need a regular service, for instance a distributor of electrical equipment who is required to collect old appliances.
All WEEE disposal services need to comply with current UK legislation and this includes having the right license, a PPC permit and having the processes in place to handle the waste effectively. The centres that recycle and dispose of waste are called authorised treatment facilities (ATFs). Recovery and disposal can include:
- The removal and recycling of metal or components that contain metal.
- The removal and recovery of inorganic materials such as glass or plastic.
- The incineration of waste material that cannot be reclaimed for the purposes of energy production.
Individual WEEE disposal services will normally have targets for the amount of recyclable or reusable waste that they handle. For instance, for refrigerators that might be recovering 80% of a particular consignment.
Hazardous WEEE Waste
One area to check on when choosing a WEEE service is how they handle hazardous waste. Many electrical components that fall into a WEEE category also contain some amount of harmful substances. It can be the small level of mercury found in fluorescent lights, nickel cadmium batteries or the polychlorinated biphenyls that can be found in capacitors. Fridges and freezers have long been known to contain ozone depleting chemicals that have to be handled differently from general waste. Any ATF will have to put in place processes for dealing with this kind of waste.
Find out more about hazardous waste disposal.
Finding a WEEE Service in Your Area
If you are a business or organisation that needs to get rid of WEEE then you can search our comprehensive database to find a contractor in your area.