As a business owner, are you aware your obligations for the safe disposal of electrical and IT equipment according to WEEE?

 

Regardless of whether your business is involved in the manufacture and supply of double glazing, an engineering oriented business or warehousing, the WEEE legislation makes it a criminal offence for ANY business to dispose of electrical and electronic equipment without a licence. In point of fact, disposal of any such equipment through a channel other than a licenced operator or recycling plant will leave you, the business owner liable to prosecution, levied fines and potential imprisonment.

The Waste Electronic & Electric Equipment legislation (WEEE) was introduced in 2007 to combat the ever increasing number of portable and fixed electrical and electronic equipment, estimated to be some fifteen million tonnes a year by 2015 and increasing exponentially year on year, being dumped in landfill. Most modern equipment contains cadmium, bromine, arsenic, mercury and lead as elements of their construction and manufacture including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Televisions, digital TV decoders, video and DVD players
  • Cookers, fridges, washing machines and tumble dryers
  • Hair straighteners, curling tongs and hair dryers
  • Computers, laptops, printers, mobile phones, Blackberries and other handheld devices
  • Batteries (vehicle and hand held device)

Disposal of equipment from these categories into landfill created an ongoing potential time bomb of environmental catastrophe should the accumulation of toxic materials leach back into the environment and the water table. To prevent this explosive situation becoming reality, the legislation requires any business owner or person responsible for disposal of aforementioned equipment to ascertain the disposal agent or recycling company has the required and necessary licencing to transport and/ or dispose of and recycle.

Gone are the days (and they were many) when anything could be tipped into landfill; the environment has to be protected, but without legislation and incentives in place it was always an uphill struggle to get stakeholders in the environment (all of us) to dispose of waste responsibly.

Dispose of your hazardous waste responsibly, effectively and in a prescribed manner by engaging the services of a duly licenced operator and/or recycling business, for the sake of the environment and for the benefit of future generations.