Why the Waste and Electrical Equipment Legislation is so Important

 

Introduced in 2007 the Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) legislation is designed as a framework by which industry and commerce can formally dispose of the millions of tonnes of which is generated every year across the European Union, of which a large proportion originates in the UK. The framework now places a duty of care on owners of businesses and/or designated personnel to keep a record of each single item of electrical and/or electronic equipment used either on or off site for its entire lifecycles.

The list is long and quite extensive, but to simplify things the following items are typical of those items which, in accordance with the legislation are now classed as hazardous waste:

  • 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
  • Microwave ovens, kettles, food processors etc

Typical office equipment such as computers, laptops and other similar devices also require specific handling, of which we shall mention later. Virtually every item of electronic or electrical equipment contains varying amounts of toxic substances such as cadmium, arsenic, bromine and lead among others, all of which are used in the manufacture of electronic components ending up in landfill, with the potential of leaching back into the environment with future potential catastrophic results.

To further complicate matters any equipment which has a CPU, hard drive, RAM, flash memory or indeed any other method of storing data for later retrieval and/or dissemination is subject to the Data protection Act. To safely and legally dispose of equipment which has the potential for data storage, not only should the disposal agent have a licence granted by the Environment Agency, the operator will also require a licence granted by the Data Commissioner’s Office.

Ensure your business fully complies with all elements of the WEEE legislation in the disposal of redundant electronic and/or electrical equipment by consulting with Dynamic Asset Recovery today; secure, safe and ethical disposal is guaranteed and collection can be arranged from any location in the UK.