Many of the components of modern electrical equipment have elements which are one hundred percent recyclable, and not just the internal workings. Plastic and steel casings and framework as well as the structural body of TVs, washing machines, fridges, computers and monitors including smaller items such as mobile phones and personal stereos can be broken down into their component parts and recycled.
Plastics can be ground down and formed into small pellets which are then ready to be shipped out to a plastics manufacturer and reintroduced to the manufacturing process, steel frames and casings can obviously be recycled and melted down ready for re-use. Precious and semi precious metals such as palladium, platinum, gold and silver which are prevalent in many pieces of electrical equipment can be salvaged, reclaimed and reused in the manufacture of new equipment.
Recycling of redundant electrical and IT equipment is now mandatory and is covered in the Waste Electronic & Electric Equipment legislation (WEEE) which became law in 2007. The legislation was introduced as a proactive method of tackling and reducing the ever increasing amounts of redundant electrical equipment which up till this point in time was being dumped in landfill sites with regular household waste. Now, the emphasis is placed on companies which under the legislation have a duty of care to ensure any equipment in these categories is disposed of safely and responsibly, and must ensure it is recycled and/or disposed of by licenced waste carriers, disposal companies and licenced recycling operators.
Specialist and fully licenced operators are able to legally dispose of industrial electrical waste and redundant equipment through a network of licenced disposal plants and recycling plants; however, when IT equipment is disposed of owners of companies and/or management teams should ensure that the company disposing of the equipment is licenced to and is qualified in disposing of any residual data which may remain on computer hard drives, memory sticks or any other element of a computer able to retain data.
Reduce waste, protect the environment and stay legal; only use licenced operators to dispose of industrial electrical equipment and one which can prove their qualifications and licencing credentials.