WEEE is the acronym of Waste Electronic & Electric Equipment which is the legislation which was introduced back in 2007 into UK law and is designed to eliminate as far as is reasonably practical any increases in redundant electrical and electronic equipment being disposed of in landfill sites. In addition to this it places a duty of care upon every business owner or CEO to ensure that redundant electrical and electronic equipment is disposed of safely and by a duly licenced operator.
It is estimated that by 2015 some fifteen million tonnes of electrical and electronic waste will require disposing of, and this figure is projected to rise year on year certainly for the foreseeable future given the current level of technological development. It is estimated that some three quarters (seventy five percent) of this type of waste ends up landfill; the potential future damage this may cause is a time bomb waiting to explode, and no-one knows what the explosive yield will be.
Modern electronic equipment which includes but is not limited to laptops, monitors screens, TVs, mobile phones, other hand held devices as well as domestic appliances and even hair straighteners are all classified under the WEEE regulations and contain some of the deadliest toxins and elements known to man.
Mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic and bromine are just a small selection of the nasties which are used and are essential elements in the manufacture of modern electrical equipment; gold, silver, platinum and palladium are precious metals which are also used and although these are not toxic, once they are lost in landfill they can never be recovered. The heavy toxic elements and components slowly leach into the ground and subsequently into any ground water reservoirs and water tables, and from there slowly but surely leach into the food chain, of which we are at the top.
Business users are especially open to issues with unlicensed operators; it is essential that any company you choose to dispose of your electrical and electronic waste is fully licenced and can show their licencing credentials and explain exactly how they will dispose of any waste generated by your company.