Quality - WEEE

 

There is a requirement on each member state under article 2 of the directive to minimise the disposal of WEEE as unsorted municipal waste and to achieve a high level of collection of WEEE for treatment, recovery and environmentally sound disposal.


What is WEEE?

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is a European Community directive that became European Law in February 2003 and took effect August 13, 2005. Its intent is to reduce the amount of electrical and electronic products that end up in the waste stream. The directive sets collection, recovery, and recycling targets for all types of electrical goods sold in the European Union.Waste

Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is the fastest growing waste stream in the UK, growing by at least 5% each year. In the UK, the public dispose of over 1.2 million tonnes of electrical and electronic waste every year. In perspective 1.2 million tonnes, is an amount that would fill the new Wembley stadium 6 times over! -The average UK citizen will discard of 3.3 tonnes of WEEE in a life time – equal to one Double Decker bus for each and every family.

Electronic waste is increasing three times faster than average municipal waste and the EU estimates that WEEE currently accounts for 4% of total waste. Much of the UK's electronic waste ends up in landfill sites, where toxins put communities at risk. Failure to segregate any type of recyclable material in the home will usually result in items being disposed of in a landfill site (buried in the ground in the UK) or being incinerated.

It has been estimated that landfill space in the UK will run out within the next 10 years. Recycling WEEE will have significant effects on the environment. Where WEEE is not recycled, this waste can have negative impacts on soil, air and water quality which can lead to environmental damage, and which can also lead to negative impacts on human health and animal health.

All new EEE should be marked with the WEEE Directive's crossed out wheeled bin symbol either on their products or packaging. This symbol aims to encourage you to separate your WEEE and to discard it separately from other household waste.

The crossed out wheeled bin symbol is not intended to indicate to you that WEEE is banned from being disposed of as general waste. Moreover, the intention behind the symbol is that, when coupled with information supplied by distributors as to the availability of recycling facilities, you will be reminded that these facilities exist throughout the UK.

WEEE BIN

Since 13 August 2005 producers are required by UK law to ensure that the crossed out wheeled bin symbol is printed in a visible, legible and indelible form on the product itself, except for in exceptional cases where this is not possible because of the size or function of the product. In such cases, the symbol must be printed on the packaging, the instructions for use and the accompanying warranty (where applicable).Collection and Take Back of WEEE products.

We are obliged under the WEE regulations to offer our customers free take-back of their WEEE on a like for like basis when you buy from us a new Electrical or Electronic product. We will take responsibility for the correct storage and transportation of said WEEE to a recognised WEEE disposal site.

To ensure our compliance with the directives, we belong to a WEEE compliance scheme, an approved compliance scheme established to meet the needs of all producers who supply all categories of electrical and electronic equipment and products to business, institutions and the public sector within the UK.

The aim of the compliance scheme is to :

  • Make sure members satisfy their legal responsibilities as defined within the WEEE regulations
  • Ensure the best available techniques are used for the recycling and recovery of all categories of electrical and electronic equipment
  • Minimise the cost of compliance

Where the compliance scheme does not apply in relation to non-household WEEE, the last user is responsible for treatment, recycling and environmentally sound disposal. Also, where the compliance scheme might apply, the regulations do allow for negotiation between us and our business users over the allocation of responsibility for non-household WEEE - for example a user may be able to negotiate a discount on the purchase price of the EEE in exchange for accepting the disposal responsibility.

In both these circumstances the end-user has the obligation to ensure that the WEEE is separately collected and to obtain and retain proof that it was handed to a waste management company who treated and disposed of it in an environmentally sound manner. There are no current requirements to keep records of these transactions (other than the normal Duty of Care requirements). However, Defra is currently consulting on a change to the Duty of Care regime which would require non-household end-users to ensure that their WEEE is sent only to authorised treatment facilities.

If you are in doubt about the disposal of a product purchased from us, please contact us so that we may keep our commitment and ensure that the WEEE is disposed of correctly.


WEEE Regulation information and guidance.
Find more information from this one resource by links to th EA, DTI & Defra sites

WEEE Regulation information

WEEE Scope Guidance 2008 : Click Here


WEEECare Producer Summary : Click Here
WeeeCare Constitution : Click Here
(EA) WEEE Regulations 2006 (pdf) : Click Here
(EA) "WEEE Business & Industry Summary" Click Here