WEEE – Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Recycling
The recycling of WEEE is a vitally important part of the waste and recycling industry. This sub-sector is rapidly growing due to the UK’s implementation of the WEEE Directive 2006.
The Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations 2013 (“the Regulations“) became law in the UK on the 1st of January 2014 and replaced the 2006 Regulations. These new Regulations implement the major provisions of Directive 2012/19/EU regarding WEEE, which recasts Directive 2002/96/EC. The new regulations allow for a greater range of products to be included in the Directive starting January 2019.
Additional information about the WEEE Regulations 2013 is available in the Guidance Notes for Government Officials PDF(Produced by the Department for Innovation and Skills.
The UK’s households and businesses dispose of around 2 million tonnes worth of WEEE every year. WEEE includes all products that require a plug or a battery. The Regulations currently outline ten main categories of WEEE (see Schedules 1 & 2 of the Regulations), which are:
- Large appliances such as fridges, dishwashers, washer machines, microwaves and cookers are all common household items.
- Small appliances such as vacuum cleaners, irons and toasters, are ideal for small households.
- IT and telecommunications equipment: eg personal computers and copying equipment.
- Equipment for consumers, such as radios, televisions and hi-fi equipment.
- Lighting equipment such as compact and straight fluorescent tubes and high-intensity discharge lamps
- Electric and electronic tools, e.g. drills, saws, sewing machines, lawnmowers, and electric mowers.
- Toys, leisure, and sports equipment, eg electric trains and games consoles and running devices
- Medical devices include (non-infected) dialysis machines and analysers, medical freezes, and cardiology equipment
- Equipment for monitoring and controlling, e.g. Smoke detectors, thermostats, and heating regulators
- Automated dispensers, eg hot drink dispensers and money dispensers
From January 2019, the Regulations’ scope will be expanded to include additional categories of electronic and electric equipment (EEE). (See Schedules 3 and 4, Regulations for further information.)
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