The changes introduced by the WEEE

 

The introduction of WEEE, that is to say the Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment legislation which came into effect in 2007 brought about a sea change in the way in which electronic and electrical equipment was classified, as well as its management and subsequent disposal by industry. Within the framework of the legislation electrical and electronic equipment is now classified as hazardous waste; anything which appears in the following list now has to be safely, securely and ethically disposed of by operators and recyclers, all of whom have relevant licenses issued by the Environment Agency.

  • Mobile phones and other hand held comms devices
  • Computers, laptops and tablets
  • Monitors and other viewing devices
  • Photocopiers, fax machines and printers

Although the list isn’t exhaustive, the robust guidelines which cover the collection, transport and subsequent disposal are fully prescribed; any company which doesn’t comply with the legislation is open to potential criminal prosecution and huge fines being levied.

Ninety nine percent of all electrical and electronic equipment manufactured contains varying amounts and combinations of lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium and bromine to mention just a few examples; the potential for damage to the environment over time was plain for all to see, hence the introduction of WEEE to prevent the continuing dumping of said equipment into landfill sites.

Moreover, any equipment which has the potential for storage and dissemination of data such as disk drives, flash and/or RAM memory modules and other such devices, has to be disposed of by an operator duly licenced by the Data Commissioner’s Office. The entire life cycle of every piece of equipment used in the workplace has to be recorded, along with the details of the disposal agency, transporting agent and/or recycler.

If you only have small numbers of equipment coming redundant at intermittent intervals, it is not possible to efficiently introduce your own in house team of specialists. The legislation is wide ranging and if not complied with fully can lead to fines and a potential criminal record. To ensure all your electrical and electronic equipment is disposed of safely, securely and ethically contact Dynamic Asset Recovery today and keep yourself and the business legal.

 

The Background of the WEEE

 

Enacted in 2007 the WEEE (Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment) legislation is a legal framework which formaises the disposal of electronic and electrical equipment, and is especially loaded against business and industry. Consumers buying their new mobile phones, laptops, computers, TVs and other personal electronic and electrical items can opt for the recycling process which the retailer has to provide by law, as an element of the WEEE regulations by way of ridding themselves of their old, redundant or no longer fashionable equipment.

Unfortunately for business owners and delegated responsible persons within the business, the buck stops with you. Businesses are the link in the chain where the responsibility rests with the safe, secure and ethical disposal of said equipment, all of which is now classed as hazardous waste and has to be disposed of by licenced operators.

The introduction of WEEE legislation is as a legal framework for combating the increasing numbers of electronic equipment which came up for disposal, and which was prior to 2007 able to be dumped in ordinary landfill sites. It has been estimated that by 2015 the European Union alone will be responsible for generating some fifteen million tonnes of electronic equipment waste, with the figure projected to rise year on year exponentially after this date and certainly for the foreseeable future.

Every item of electronic and electrical equipment in use has varying amounts and combinations of lead, arsenic, bromine, mercury other nasties which are essential for the premium operation and efficiency of modern electronic equipment. Over ninety percent of the entire component pieces are recyclable, which includes the plastic casings, glass screens and electrical motors and cooling fans.

Disposal of electronic equipment is a minefield for the unwary and unprepared; if you fall foul of the legal aspect of the lifecycle management of the potential hazardous waste in your care, you may be liable to fines and potential criminal prosecution. To keep the entire issue legal, and to ensure the safe, secure and ethical disposal of ANY electronic equipment in your care, contact Data Asset Recovery today for complete peace of mind.

How To Identify Electrical Waste?

 

What do the following items have in common, other than sometimes costing an arm and a leg or being the next ‘must have’ gadget?

  • Televisions, digital TV decoders, video and DVD players
  • Computers, laptops, printers, mobile phones,
  • Blackberries and other handheld devices
  • Mobile phones

Surprisingly they are all classed as hazardous waste when it comes to disposal; although retail outlets will take your old equipment and dispose of it for you when you buy like for like, for business owners it is another story. The WEEE (Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment) legislation introduced in 2007 now places a duty of care on all owners and custodians of business entities and commercial enterprises to manage and monitor the entire lifecycle of any equipment which is operated by AC and/or DC power.

Disposal is strictly controlled and has to be by way of a licenced operator and/or recycler, and any equipment in the workplace which is redundant and requires disposal, the company responsible for any such disposal HAS to be licenced by the Environment Agency.

Although the aforementioned list is n to exhaustive, it is indicative of the equipment types which contain varying amounts and combinations of toxic substances and heavy metals which include but are not limited to cadmium, bromine, lead, arsenic and mercury to mention a few examples. Over ninety percent of the sum total of the component parts of the aforementioned equipment is readily recyclable, and preventing these and other toxic substances leaching out of landfill sites was the reason for the legislation being introduced.

However, a cautionary note; if the equipment which is being disposed of has an element of its operation component parts which are capable of storing data, the company charged with disposal has also to be in possession of a license issued by the Data Commissioner’s Office. The parameters of the Data Protection and WEEE legislation are quite rigid; failure to comply with all the elements of the relevant legislation could result in heavy fines and potential criminal and civil proceedings.

For safe, secure and ethical disposal of any redundant and/or surplus electronic and electrical equipment contact, Data Asset Recovery is an essential link in your WEEE disposal chain.

 

Why the Waste and Electrical Equipment Legislation is so Important

 

Introduced in 2007 the Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) legislation is designed as a framework by which industry and commerce can formally dispose of the millions of tonnes of which is generated every year across the European Union, of which a large proportion originates in the UK. The framework now places a duty of care on owners of businesses and/or designated personnel to keep a record of each single item of electrical and/or electronic equipment used either on or off site for its entire lifecycles.

The list is long and quite extensive, but to simplify things the following items are typical of those items which, in accordance with the legislation are now classed as hazardous waste:

  • Televisions, digital TV decoders, video and DVD players, overhead projectors
  • Computers, laptops, printers, mobile phones, MP3 players, camcorders
  • Batteries, (vehicle and hand held device)
  • Fan heaters and air conditioning units
  • Microwave ovens, kettles, food processors etc

Typical office equipment such as computers, laptops and other similar devices also require specific handling, of which we shall mention later. Virtually every item of electronic or electrical equipment contains varying amounts of toxic substances such as cadmium, arsenic, bromine and lead among others, all of which are used in the manufacture of electronic components ending up in landfill, with the potential of leaching back into the environment with future potential catastrophic results.

To further complicate matters any equipment which has a CPU, hard drive, RAM, flash memory or indeed any other method of storing data for later retrieval and/or dissemination is subject to the Data protection Act. To safely and legally dispose of equipment which has the potential for data storage, not only should the disposal agent have a licence granted by the Environment Agency, the operator will also require a licence granted by the Data Commissioner’s Office.

Ensure your business fully complies with all elements of the WEEE legislation in the disposal of redundant electronic and/or electrical equipment by consulting with Dynamic Asset Recovery today; secure, safe and ethical disposal is guaranteed and collection can be arranged from any location in the UK.