The UK has a problem with its waste. According to statistics from the World Bank, the UK is one of the highest producers of waste in the world. In 2016 alone, the UK generated an average of 1307 kg of municipal solid waste per person. This number is set to rise – by 2021 it’s expected that this figure will have risen another 15% to 1619 kg per person. Weee (Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment) is an EU initiative to reduce electronic and electrical waste throughout Europe. It covers everything from household appliances like fridges, freezers and dishwashers to computer monitors and printers, televisions, mobile phones and fax machines. This article covers everything you need to know about Weee regulations in the UK with some helpful advice on how complying can save you money and make your home safer for you and your family.
Why is there so much waste in the UK?
There are a variety of reasons why the UK produces so much waste. One of the most common factors that contribute to this is the improper disposal of electrical equipment, or WEEE (Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment). Unlike other household waste, WEEE requires a specific method of disposal. Unfortunately, only about 27% of WEEE is currently being recycled. This is due in large part to the fact that the UK does not have clear and concise WEEE recycling laws. Another contributing factor to the volume of WEEE is the increase in the number of electrical items in UK households. Britons consume more electrical goods than virtually all other countries in the world, which means that we also discard more WEEE than most of the world. It’s important to keep these facts in mind when choosing which electrical appliances to buy. It’s also important that you dispose of them properly once you decide to upgrade or replace them.
What does Weee mean for you?
If you are responsible for disposing of your household’s WEEE, you’ll need to be familiar with the Weee regulations. The Weee program was introduced in the UK in 2003. The Weee regulations dictate that all electrical appliances must be marked with either a “crossed out wheeled bin” or the “ EU WEEE symbol”. This will indicate whether the appliance can be recycled or not. Unfortunately, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to the Weee regulations. The first thing to do is to find out where your household’s WEEE should go. This will vary depending on your location and the type of equipment you’re disposing of. Remember to also take into account whether there are any specific rules for any items that are still in working order.
What are the penalties for non-compliance?
If you don’t comply with the Weee regulations in the UK, you’ll be in breach of the law. This can result in a fine of up to £50,000. While this seems to be a lot of money, it’s really not worth the risk of non-compliance. If you’re not sure where to dispose of your household’s WEEE, you should contact your local council. They will be able to inform you as to which WEEE collection points they take and where you can take your non-WEEE electrical equipment for recycling.
Electronic equipment that must be recycled
There are a few pieces of WEEE that must be recycled regardless of where you live in the UK. This includes car batteries, fluorescent tubes, lithium-ion batteries, lead-acid batteries, old paint and paint cans, oils, solvent, and petrol. The most common piece of electrical equipment that must be recycled is cathode ray tubes (CRTs). These are the big, bulky computer monitors that were standard in the 1980s. Unfortunately, CRTs are full of lead and mercury, which makes them very dangerous to dispose of improperly. A complete list of the electrical equipment that must be recycled can be found on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’s website.