In the UK alone we produce around 1.8 million tonnes each year so it’s something that really needs dealing with effectively and responsibly. One of the big problems with e-waste is the hazardous chemicals it contains which, if not disposed of responsibly can leach into water systems and cause extensive environmental damage. The WEEE Directive covers a wide range of electrical and electronic products, although some are exempt from certain requirements.
The types of products covered are:
- Large and small household appliances
- IT and telecommunication equipment
- Consumer equipment such as TVs, videos, hi-fi lighting, electrical and electronic tools (except large stationary industrial tools) toys, leisure and sports equipment
- Automatic dispensers
- Medical devices (these are exempt from the WEEE recycling and recovery targets)
- Monitoring and control instruments
There is also The Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS) in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive, which specifically aims to reduce substances such as lead and mercury in new electronic equipment.
These two directives provide a “double pronged” approach to tackle the problems of e-waste from both ends.
One particularly key aim of the WEEE directive is to reduce the amount of electrical and equipment being produced and to encourage everyone to reuse, recycle and recover it.
This means that both individuals and businesses have formal responsibilities in terms of dealing with e-waste: recycling it where possible and disposing of it in the right way. Of course, we all that responsibility before – just now we can’t get out of it!
Remploy e-cycle helps organisations in the United Kingdom to recycle computers and electronic waste, meeting all their IT and communications (ICT) equipment recycling needs. They should be every businesses first port of call when it comes to seamless compliance with the WEEE directive.