All About WEEE

what is weee?

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (weee) includes all end of life devices that either have an electric plug or a battery. It includes medical devices and supplies such as x-ray equipment, life support equipment and different laboratory equipment; work equipment such as computers, laptops, printers, projectors and phones; home appliances and equipment such as fridges, electric kettles, coffee machines, microwaves, cookers, televisions, radios and music system and other things like mobile phones, iPods, chargers, earphones and headphones.

weee compliance is the act of adhering to the set guidelines and directives regarding the disposal of electrical and electronic waste in the United Kingdom. Non-compliance is usually punished through revocation of licenses and permits, fines and penalties which vary based on the extent of non-compliance.

More information on weee compliance

Who does WEEE effect?

WEEE affects anyone who uses electronic and electrical devices in and around their homes or work environment. This means that it is the responsibility of both individuals and organisations to ensure that all waste is disposed off in the most appropriate and environmentally friendly manner. Schools and the parents should also take the initiative to teach children the importance of recycling WEEE and adhering to different compliance requirements such that they grow up understanding its importance in society.

Why is WEEE important?

As human beings, sometimes we may engage in activities without thoroughly analysing their effects albeit in the present and future. WEEE is important because of its possible effect on the environment as well as the livelihood of all individuals. The economic and health implications resulting from improper disposal could last generations. This is also why the WEEE directive was put up.

What are the benefits of WEEE?

WEEE can have devastating effects on the environment. Some equipment may contain hazardous waste which pollutes the air, water and soil. This pollution causes harm to human beings and animals when ingested and subsequently leads to a wide range of illnesses. A sick population equals lower economic progress.

Different components of WEEE can be recycled to form materials that can be utilised in the manufacture of other items. For example, all plastic components can be used in making new electrical and electronic devices, toys, plastic fencing poles and so on. This reduces the level of waste in the environment but also ensures that parts that are not biodegradable are used for as long as possible. Besides, recycling enhances job creation in the economy.

Minerals and ores may be utilised in the manufacture of different equipment. When this equipment becomes waste, these minerals and ores can be recovered and utilised for other things. By doing this, we safeguard the earth against excessive mining and extraction of additional minerals and ores. In addition, these non-renewable resources are properly utilised and therefore stocks for future use are preserved.

So what should you do?

In the case that you have electrical or electronic equipment that is no longer in use- either due to obsolescence or as a result of breakdown, it is essential to take it to the nearest collection centre or request for collections. This way, all recyclable components are recycled and the equipment that is still in good condition can be refurbished for further use.