The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations (WEEE)
Waste recycling Legislation WEEE and Required Certification is one of the most important issues for many businesses to be aware of. With so much legislation being created, it can get overwhelming knowing what you need to do in order to stay compliant. We are here to help! In this blog post we will go over everything you need to know about Waste Recycling Legislation and Required Certification. This includes: -Why waste recycling legislation impacts your business? -What is required certification? How do I comply with the WEE regulations?
With more and more people becoming aware of the environmental impact of electronic waste, many companies are looking for ways to reduce their environmental footprint. This can be achieved by focusing on WEEE compliance. In this blog post we will discuss what WEEE is and how it can help your business stay within the law.
Electrical and electronic equipment ( EEE ) is regulated by the UK Government to reduce the amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment ( WEEE ) incinerated or sent to landfill sites. Reduction is achieved through various measures which encourage the recovery, reuse and recycling of products and components.
What are the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations (WEEE)?
The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations (2013) grew to be law within the UK on 1st January 2014 and also updated and replaced the original WEEE Regulations of 2006. These Regulations represent the government’s interpretation on the EU Directive 2012/19/EU. The intent behind the Directive was to create goals for the compilation, recycling where possible and the reuse of electrical and electronic equipment across Europe and also divert large volumes of waste equipment from going into land fill. The legislation puts the onus on makers to become accountable for the things of theirs once the decision is made to dispose of them and replace them with new equipment.
The UK laws call for companies to:
- Minimize waste arising through their electronic and electrical tools (EEE) merchandise as well as market the reuse of theirs
- Ensure the obsolete items are taken care of properly and also reach the goals for recycling of obsolete materials
- Design solutions by decreasing materials consumption as well as improving reusability as well as recyclability.
Businesses that use electronic and electrical (EEE) items need to take steps to plan the eventual disposal and recycling of this equipment and will need to be in contact with a UK industry Producer Compliance Scheme (PCS) for example Fixed Asset Disposal Limited.
Which category are you in?
Every year an estimated 2 million tons of WEEE items are discarded by householders and companies in the UK. WEEE includes most products that have a plug or need a battery.
Under the UK WEEE Regulations, you will find fourteen categories of WEEE that are utilized for reporting functions. Producers should as a result choose which category to record the gear of theirs under the following:
- Large home devices (e.g. white-colored commodities but not including cooling equipment)
- Small home devices (e.g. vacuums, irons, toasters)
- IT and telecoms equipment (e.g. computers, phones, calculators, printers, answer devices but not display monitors)
- Consumer equipment (e.g. radios, hi fi equipment, electronic musical instruments but not televisions)
- Lighting equipment
- Electrical as well as electronic resources (e.g. drills, saws, sewing machines etc., but excluding big stationary manufacturing tools)
- Toys, leisure along with sports equipment (e.g. train sets, online games, coin slot machines as well as most sports gear with electric components)
- Medical devices (e.g. dialysis devices, ventilators)
- Control and Monitoring instruments (e.g. smoke detectors, thermostats)
- Automated dispensers (e.g. ATMs, vending machines)
- Screen tools (e.g. monitors) as well as TVs
- Cool equipment (e.g. refrigeration equipment)
- Gasoline discharge lamps (amended for 2013 to include everything LED light resources in addition to gasoline discharge lamps)
- Photovoltaic (Solar) Panels
The above mentioned list of fourteen groups is not supposed to be exhaustive. Fixed Asset Disposal Ltd should be contacted for more producer instances of obliged EEE groups.
Treatment of WEEE
Large household appliances (e.g. ovens, fridges, washing machines) currently make up over 40% of WEEE but there are large volumes of other equipment such as IT equipment (mainly computers), TVs (over two million discarded each year!), small household appliances (e.g. kettles and hair dryers), electrical tools, digital watches, electronic toys and medical devices.
Such items contain a wide variety of materials e.g. an average TV contains 6% metal and 50% glass, whereas a cooker is 89% metal and only 6% glass. Other materials found include plastics, ceramics and precious metals.
As a result of this complex mix of product types and materials, some of which are hazardous (including arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury and certain flame retardants) WEEE recycling poses a number of health risks that need to be adequately managed. For example, exposure to substances released during processing (such as mercury released from fluorescent tubes, lead and phosphorous pentachloride as a result of breaking cathode ray tubes).
It is important to stress that if effective measures are taken to control exposure to mercury and lead then normally the control of exposure to other hazardous substances should also be adequate.
The exact treatment of WEEE can vary enormously according to the category of WEEE and technology that is used. Some treatment facilities utilise large-scale shredding technologies, whilst other use a disassembly process, which can be manual, automated or a combination of both.
We at Fixed Asset Disposal Limited can handle all your WEEE legal obligations to ensure that you don’t fall foul of any government Regulations as we are fully registered and audited with the Environment Agency. Additionally, we’ve gone the extra mile by being accredited with ISO 14001 environmental management system; the only company in the Thames valley to obtain all 3 standards including 9001 and 27001.
Please take the time to read through our blog post today to gain the necessary knowledge you need to be compliant. Please follow our blog to learn more and stay up to date with all the latest industry news. We also invite you to sign up for our blog newsletter so you never miss a blog post.