Links to relevant legislation:
The WEEE Directive encourages and sets criteria for the collection, treatment, recycling and recovery of electrical and electronic equipment. It makes producers of electrical equipment responsible for financing most of these activities in the consumer sector. (‘producer responsibility’).
Private householders are able, but not compelled, to return waste electrical and electronic equipment to retailers on a ‘one-for-one’ basis without charge. Retailers are allowed to establish alternative collection systems as long as these are no less convenient for householders. There are targets for recycling and recovery of materials and components from the separately collected waste.
There is also a related Directive, the Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) Directive (2002/95/EC).
The RoHS Directive restricts the use of various hazardous substances in new electrical and electronic equipment. From July 2006, the use of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, poly-brominated biphenyls (PBBs) and poly-brominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) has been banned in new products. (PBBs and PBDEs are flame retardants used in plastics.)
The WEEE and RoHS Directives cover a very wide range of electrical and electronic products, although some are exempt from certain requirements. The categories covered are: large and small household appliances, IT and telecommunication equipment, consumer equipment (TV, video, hi-fi etc), lighting, electrical and electronic tools, toys, leisure and sports equipment, medical devices, monitoring and control instruments and automatic dispensers.
Any business which manufactures, brands or imports electrical or electronic products within the EU is affected. Those businesses that sell electrical items or store, treat or dismantle WEEE are also affected by this legislation. If you have any queries about current WEEE legislation, we would be glad to assist you. Just give us a call on 01342 777550.
More information can be found on their website: http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/