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.

What is WEEE and what do you have to do to comply with the framework of the legislation?

 

The Waste & Electronic Equipment legislation, or to apply its acronym of WEEE was instigated in 2007 and places emphasis on the controlled disposal of all and any electrical and/or electronic equipment, and lays down a framework within which business owners and licenced disposal carriers and recyclers have to operate. Electrical and electronic equipment is now classed as hazardous waste, given the cocktail of chemical, heavy metal and toxic substances used in the manufacture of everyday items and include but is not limited to the following:

  • 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

If you give careful thought to this there are probably hundreds of items I haven’t mentioned here, and yet all of the items you may be thinking of while reading this are classed as hazardous waste and must be disposed of accordingly. Office equipment such as computers, laptops, mobile phones and the like are typically replaced every year or two as new technologies supersedes older, out of date equipment.

It is estimated that in the EU alone some fifteen million tonnes of electronic office waste will require disposal in 2015, rising exponentially year on year thereafter as our reliance on electronic and digital equipment increases. Improving the sustainability of the electronics industry and reducing as much waste as possible by recycling as much as possible, not only are we protecting the environment in the present, but also for future generations to come.

The legislation places the emphasis on business owners and/or a delegated representative or employee to ensure the safe, responsible disposal of electronic equipment by a licenced carrier or recycler. Removing and responsibly disposing of electrical waste is best dealt with by placing the burden onto a specialist licenced waste disposal, waste carrier and/or recycling company. Insist on seeing the relevant licence of any potential carrier or recycling agent; by doing this you will be protecting yourself and the business from potential prosecution.

Climate Change

 

December 2010 the British weather delivered an early and spectacular cold blast to mark the start of the climate-change talks in Cancún, Mexico. Snow fell heavily in much of the country, and lightly over all of it; temperatures dropped to below -10°C. The chill might not presage another enduringly severe winter like that of 2009-10, but it has already brought a familiar crop of stories about traffic turmoil and closed schools. It might also add to Britain’s scepticism about climate change (already more widespread than in many other European countries).

It shouldn’t. While the beginning of 2010 is remembered by northern Europeans, Russians and inhabitants of America’s southern states as very cold, it was warm elsewhere, peculiarly so in Canada and Greenland. The average global temperature from January to March was the fourth highest on record. This is one of the reasons why 2010 as a whole seems likely to rank first or second in the list of average annual temperatures (depending on which bunch of climate scientists is doing the ranking).

Europe’s cold winters and the warmth of the planet as a whole might even be linked. There is some evidence that the summer heat stored in the newly ice-free seas north of Siberia may induce shifts in the atmosphere’s circulation, when the heat is given up to the air in subsequent autumns and winters. Those shifts might in turn encourage seasonal patterns in which the Arctic is warm and the continents below it cold, as in early 2010. Since the sea-ice area looks likely to go on shrinking, such a link, if indeed it exists, would probably mean more cold winters in Britain and much of Europe.

Other research suggests that warming may actually have alleviated recent freezes. A team of French climate scientists analysed last winter’s European weather day by day. For each day’s arrangements of high pressure, low pressure, wind speed and the like, they looked for similar days at similar times of year in records stretching back to 1948. In general, cold winter days in 2010 turned out to be less cold than equivalent days in earlier years had been.

Overall, judging by pressures and winds, 2009-10 should have been as cold as 1963, the coldest winter in the records analysed, with temperatures on average 4°C lower than normal. Instead it was the 13th coldest winter with an average temperature just 1.3°C below normal. Britons put out by the current bout of cold weather will get little satisfaction from the thought that it could have been worse. But it used to be.

So what is in store for the 2011 winter season, will we experience another cold snap that throws the country into disarray or will it be mild winter?

What is the difference between the Iphone 3GS and the Iphone 4?

 

The iPhone 4 is 24 per cent thinner than its predecessor at 9.3mm instead of 12.3mm. It’s also ever so slightly wider by 3.5mm. In terms of weight, it’s slightly heavier at 137g instead of 135g.

In terms of Wi-Fi, iPhone 4 adds 802.11n to the mix alongside 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 2.1. The 7.2Mbps HSDPA, 3G and EDGE specs are no different

The accelerometer, a GPS, compass and Wi-Fi location specs remain unchanged from the 3GS, but there’s new hardware elsewhere – three axis gyro that can add increased six-point movement accuracy into apps and games.

Steve Jobs claims a 40 per cent improvement for the iPhone 4 over the 3GS, citing 7 hours talk time on 3G for iPhone 4 – up from 5 hours on the 3GS. Standby time is now a cited 300 hours but, interestingly, that was also the same for the 3GS!

You do get an hour more browsing in the stats (6 from 5) and 10 hours more audio playback (40 from 30) – though video is unchanged at 10 hours.

The iPhone 4 is available at capacities of 16 and 32GB, though sadly not 64GB. The iPhone 3GS has regressed though – from being available with 16 and 32GB, models produced from now will be fitted with 8GB of memory instead in order to fill the budget shoes of the now defunct iPhone 3G – the end of a truly disruptive handset.

The 3GS white is now discontinued – all are now black, while iPhone 4 gets black and white variants. Apple is also shipping ‘bumpers’ – coloured surrounds . Six colours are available.

The iPhone 4 display remains the same size as that on the 3GS, with a 3.5-inch diagonal. However, it’s completely different, with four times as many pixels in a so-called ‘retina display’.

That name is because Apple says the display has more pixels than the human eye can actually distinguish.

The 3GS has a 480 x 320-pixel resolution at 163ppi, while the iPhone 4 ups this significantly, giving a 960 x 640-pixel resolution at 326ppi and an 800:1 contrast ratio. While the screen isn’t OLED as with some other smartphones, Apple says it’s IPS display tech is better – it’s already been used on the iPad.

While the 3GS supported video recording, it was VGA (30fps). The iPhone 4, as predicted, pokes a finger in the eye of devices like the Flip HD, with its own HD (720p, 30fps) recording.

The iPhone 4 ups the game significantly in the photography department, but it still will disappoint against the very best camera phones. Still, against the 3GS it’s positively brilliant, with 5 megapixels instead of 3 megapixels and the addition of an LED flash (which can also be used for the video).

The tap to focus is retained. iPhone 4 also adds on a front-facing camera for FaceTime Wi-Fi video calls and more.

The inputs and outputs are largely unchanged, but there’s an extra mic on the iPhone 4 for better call quality through noise cancellation.

The buttons remain in the same places, but the volume buttons have been separated out into up and down.

Sadly, there’s no rotation lock button as on the iPad.

The Risk of Tidal Flooding in London

 

The Thames Barrier is closed when high water levels at Southend and the flow of the River Thames at Teddington Weir (the tidal limit of the Thames) reach critical levels. Over the last 10 years this closure rate has become higher since the first 20 years of operation.

The Thames Barrier was commissioned in 1982 and cost ,£530 million. It was designed to provide protection for London from tidal flooding until 2030 (and, by raising the gates, beyond). Over 150 km2 of London lies below high tide level and the homes of 750,000 Londoners are at risk from a major storm surge. Flooding would result in immense disruption to the capitals commercial activities and could cause direct damage equivalent to around ,£20 billion, threatening London’s future as an international centre for trade and commerce.

Historical records of rising tide levels in London reflect the fact that SE England is tilting downwards at around 30 cm a century, and that settlements have narrowed the river – the width of the Thames at Westminster is now about one-third of its width in Roman times.

Currently, the major flood threat to central London is from storm surges – when meteorological conditions (primarily atmospheric pressure and wind) exaggerate tidal peaks. Global warming and the resulting rise in sea levels (involving both thermal expansion and contributions from ice melt) will increase this risk. Climate change may also increase the frequency of synoptic patterns which give rise to dangerous storm surges.

Decisions on whether to close the Barrier also take into account the amount of water flowing in the River Thames. Thus, changes in rainfall and evaporation which alter the flow of the Thames (particularly during the winter) may also affect the number of closures of the Barrier. Any future changes in the operating rules could also influence closure frequency.

Historical references to tidal flooding in London extend back at least until the eleventh century. Pepys refers to all of Whitehall having been drowned in 1663. A continuous record of high tides at London Bridge is available from 1780, showing that the level of the highest tides (relative to the land) has been rising steadily over the centuries, totalling over 1.5 metres. About 40% of this rise is attributed to the land sinking.

However, the peak level registered during the extremely damaging tidal surge in 1953 has not been closely approached during the period since the Barrier was constructed. Nonetheless, the tendency over the last 17  years has been for the closures to become more frequent. Closures over the 1993-99 period greatly exceed those for the preceding 10 years. The 1990s were characterised by significant year-on-year variability. Nine closures were required in 1993 but none in 1997 when water levels in the Thames were low following prolonged drought – high tides which would normally have triggered a closure required no action. The six closures during 1999 all occurred during December.

Because the Thames River Barrier is now subject to different operating rules, it may be less useful as an indicator. The barrier is now closed to retain water in the Thames River as well as to lessen the risk of flooding. (It was closed on 9 successive tides at the start of 2003.) Thus, the number of closures has increased greatly in recent years. This indicator would only be useful if it were possible to distinguish the number of closures made specifically to lessen flood risk. The EA officer at the barrier would be able to assess what is possible.

Old CRT Monitor? Beware of Hazardous Waste!

 

Colour and monochrome CRTs contain toxic substances, such as cadmium, in the phosphors.

The rear glass tube of modern CRTs are made from leaded glass, which represent an environmental hazard if disposed of improperly.

By the time personal computers were produced, glass in the front panel (the viewable portion of the CRT) used barium rather than lead, though the rear of the CRT was still produced from leaded glass.

As electronic waste, CRTs are considered one of the hardest types to recycle. CRTs have relatively high concentration of lead and phosphorus, both of which are necessary for the display.

But why cannot CRT’s be dumped into Landfill? Why do they have to be disposed of in a responsible and environmentally friendly way?

Your old TV is considered hazardous waste because it has elements of lead in it.

The lead that’s in our television screens and our computer screens that protects us from the harmful rays from these screens, when they get into landfills and become broken and potentially leech into the environment and the ground and water supply, it’s then that that lead becomes harmful, as does the arsenic, mercury, beryllium and cadmium.

Why Use External Hard Drives?

 

There are plenty of positives to using an external hard drive. You can keep your data safe should your system fail, there’s plenty of space to store bulky multimedia files, and all your documents are in one place.

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What is an LCD or Plasma TV?

 

CRT or TFT what is the difference?

CRT technology or Cathode Ray Technology has been around for decades the earliest version of the CRT was invented by the German physicist Ferdinand Braun in 1897 From mono though to Colour.
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What is WEEE?

 

You may keep coming across the phrase WEEE or keep seeing the small wheelie bin symbol with a cross through it on your electrical products?

So what does it all mean & what is WEEE?

WEEE stands for Waste Electronic & Electric Equipment which under UK law is now classed as a controlled waste.

The government introduced the WEEE directive into UK law in 2007, this is basically aimed at encouraging the reuse and recycling of electrical equipment and the materials used to manufacture such items.

Why is the important?

With every household & business using more & more electrical products by the day it is estimated that 6.5 million tonnes of electric waste was produced by EU member in one year alone. By 2015 this is set to become an incredible 15 million tonnes per year. Currently 75% of waste electrical goods end up in landfill where lead and other toxins (arsenic, bromine, cadmium, mercury, etc) can cause soil and water contamination.

Many materials used in electronic products can be reprocessed and reused in many ways, various kinds of metals, plastics, batteries and even circuit boards have precious components & can be used time and time again. Why is this important, because the planet only has a limited resource of certain materials, using them again helps sustainability of our environment that we all live in.

Where can I take my electrical waste?

All local authorities now have dedicated electrical skips or bins at their recycling sites where household users are encouraged to take their items, ranging from Fridges to your old electric toothbrush. Retailers are now also obliged to advise or provide WEEE take back schemes for recently purchased items.

For businesses, unfortunately the local recycling centre is not an option as WEEE from business is classed as non domestic trade waste.. Businesses also have a duty of care to ensure there electrical waste is disposed of in the correct manner or face penalties from the environment agency.

Business users of electrical products can approach licensed waste carriers or brokers to remove redundant equipment from their offices, however they also need to make sure that their waste is being taken to appropriate, licensed recycling facilities, therefore preventing illegal dumping or exporting of electrical waste .