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.