The WEEE (Waste Electrical Electronic Equipment) directive came into effect on July 1st 2007. Introduced as an effort to stem the flow of the burgeoning amount of electrical waste piling up in landfill, the directive outlines significant implications for what should be standard procedure in the disposal of electronic items used commercially and personally.
While showcasing a number of different aspects, it carries different implications and responsibilities for manufacturers, distributors and consumers of electronic goods. Summarised below are three sections outlining the things you need to know in order to be in compliance with the WEEE Directive.
Increased measures implemented by local governments and councils ensure that businesses and non-residential users are disposing of electronic equipment in legal and environmentally safe methods. They are also now asking that they provide proof of these disposal methods with certified companies.
Professional electrical waste disposal solutions are essential for the WEEE directive. If your waste is found to be to have been improperly disposed of, you may incur a fine or even prosecution.
Household users cannot simply dispose of electronic equipment by putting it in the trash bin either. However, the responsibility falls in part on the retailers and distributors to offer recycling means for the consumer.
Manufactures / Producers
Manufacturers and producers of electrical products are now fully responsible for what happens to the electronic goods they sell when those goods cease functioning.
By definition, a “manufacturer” or “producer” is a company who either makes electrical equipment in the UK or imports electrical equipment into the UK. It is basically the first point of contact for electrical equipment in the UK.
Manufactures have to join a “WEEE Compliance Scheme” thus ensuring all waste put into the UK market is accounted for, right up to the end of its life. Compliance schemes have been established to look after the obligations of the producers. Having to report directly to the Environmental Agency, these Compliance Schemes collect and recycle waste on behalf of the manufacturer and producer.
Distributors / Retailers
Retailers of electrical products also responsible for the recycling of any electronic waste the sell into the UK market. They can provide in-store take-back schemes which allow consumers to return their equipment to the store for recycling, or join a Distributor Take Back Scheme, which allows household users to send the equipment back to the distributor for proper disposal.
Any business wishing to dispose of their electrical waste cannot return the equipment to the retailer they purchased from, or any retailer for that matter. They must approach a certified disposal company which ensures the proper disposal of the electronic waste.
Understandably, all businesses would like to follow the WEEE directive and meet their environmental obligations with as little hassle as possible. echo Ltd. offers certified disposal services that are WEEE compliant and traceable.