According to the department for business, enterprise and regulatory reform (BERR), we throw away around two million tonnes of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment – or ‘WEEE’ – every year.
Sadly, much of this still ends up in landfill – so however comically acronymed it may be, the WEEE directive has serious implications for anyone involved in the production, manufacture, or import of electrical and electronic equipment – or ‘EEE’.
In a nutshell, the directive is designed to make it easier for businesses to dispose of their used electrical and electronic equipment.
Under new laws introduced at the beginning of 2008, if a business has finished with a piece of EEE which was purchased after August 13, 2005, it is up to the manufacturer to dispose of it free of charge.
If you are a business
The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) advises businesses to think twice when looking to replace equipment. Do you need to buy a new product, or can it be upgraded or refurbished? If you have equipment which still works but you no longer need, consider passing it on to others.
BIS also recommends businesses take WEEE regulations into account when buying products. Make sure you retain contact details for the product’s distributors, as well as a registration number, so when it reaches the end of its life, you know who to get in touch with. Similarly, establish whether it’s the producer or a compliance scheme they belong to that you need to contact for disposal.