In the UK alone, around 222 million units of electrical and electronic equipment are put on to the market each year. Electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) has been identified as producing one of the fastest-growing waste streams in the EU. It constitutes 4% of municipal waste today and is increasing by 16% to 28% every five years – three times as fast as the growth of average municipal waste (1 million tons EEE per year).
In response to this the EU adopted the WEEE directive and the RoHS directive.
The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive) was introduced into UK law in January 2007 by the Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment Regulations 2006.
The WEEE Directive aims to reduce the amount of electrical and electronic equipment being produced and to encourage everyone to reuse, recycle and recover it.
The WEEE Directive also aims to improve the environmental performance of businesses that manufacture, supply, use, recycle and recover electrical and electronic equipment.
Accompanying the WEEE Directive is the Restriction of Certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive, which restricts the use of certain toxic substances, such as lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) flame retardants, polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants.
The directive covers a wide variety of equipment across 10 categories, including large and small household appliances, consumer goods such as TVs and hi fi equipment, as well as toys, telecommunications, computers, tools and automatic dispensers. Medical appliances and monitoring and control equipment are exempted.
The WEEE Man is made from the amount of waste electrical and electronic products that an average UK citizen will throw away in a lifetime.
What can I do?
The WEEE Directive aims to minimize the amount of WEEE peolpe throw out with their general rubbish. By keeping WEEE separate from other waste it can be treated, the hazardous substances can be removed and a large amount of waste can be recycled rather than sent to landfill. You are not banned from disposing of WEEE in your bin but the WEEE Regulations have created a network of collection points for WEEE.
You should now find it easier to recycle old equipment through a mixture of improved local authority civic amenity sites and new take-back facilities provided by retailers.
• ask the retailer if they'll take products back
• take old appliances to their local civic amenity site
• arrange for their local authority to collect the equipment (some local authorities provide a free collection service and others charge)
• arrange for an electrical retailer delivering new equipment to take away the old appliance
Note: only pass your waste to a registered waste carrier or other approved person.
We care about the environment - for a cleaner future
All our products are committed to conform with the European RoHS directive, since July 2006.
For more information on WEEE and recycling visit these websites: