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 We Support and Abide by the WEEE Directive.

 

WEEE, the waste electronic and electrical equipment directive, is a green European law set to come into force in 2007 that aims to clean up the infamously dirty technology industry.

It has yet to garner much in the way of headlines, but by July 2008 all of the equipment manufacturers in Europe – including makers of computers, printers, toasters and washing machines – will be forced to take back and recycle their old equipment rather than just let consumers dump them. According to campaigners, more than 2m tonnes of electrical rubbish is discarded in Britain each year alone, and the resulting soup of toxic chemicals is seriously contributing to environmental damage.

Some effort has gone into raising awareness of the directive, not least in the form of the Weee Man – a giant sculpture formed out of scrapped equipment that has been touring the country.

According to the study, 42% of manufacturers and retailers still do not understand what they need to do to comply with the incoming law – and just 70% of smaller companies had even heard of it.

 

How the WEEE Regulations affect households

 

The WEEE Directive aims to minimise the amount of WEEE householders throw out with their general rubbish.

 

By keeping WEEE separate from other waste it can be treated, the hazardous substances can be removed and a large amount of waste can be recycled rather than sent to landfill.

 

Householders are not banned from disposing of WEEE in their bin but the WEEE Regulations have created a network of collection points for WEEE.

 

Householders should now find it easier to recycle their old equipment through a mixture of improved local authority civic amenity sites and new take-back facilities provided by retailers. These are operating now.

 

Householders can:

ask the retailer if they’ll take products back

take old appliances to their local civic amenity site

arrange for their local authority to collect the equipment (some local authorities provide a free collection service and others charge)

arrange for an electrical retailer delivering new equipment to take away the old appliance

 

Note: householders are now covered by the duty of care and must ensure they only pass their waste to a registered waste carrier or other approved person.