What Is WEEE?

It would be difficult to find a person or business that does not use electronic devices in some way or other. These devices contain different types of hazardous materials that cannot be dumped in the landfills. Such hazardous materials leach into the ground and affect the groundwater quality. It pollutes surface and air as well. People use a wide variety of electric and electronic devices. These devices are discarded after becoming unusable. A few parts can be recovered for reuse but most parts cannot be recycled and must be dumped. Due to their hazardous nature, these wastes are highly regulated by the governments. There are special legislations that regulate what types of electrical and electronic wastes are sent to the recycling centre, which ones go to the landfills, and which ones are recycled for reuse. These rules in the UK are covered under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment or weee recycling regulations.

Learn more about weee recycling

It is a European Union directive that defines all electrical and electronic wastes. This list includes small and large appliances like vacuum cleaners, toasters, microwaves, dishwashers, washing machines and fridges. All telecommunication and IT equipment including personal computers, printers, calculators and telephones are covered under it. Consumer equipment like TVs, radios, camcorders and musical instruments are included in it. Electric tools and machines like saws, drills, lawnmowers and sewing machines fall under this category. It includes all toys, sports equipment and leisure devices that get power from batteries or wired electricity. Electric and electronic non-infected medical devices like analysers, cardiology equipment and dialysis machines must be disposed as recommended under this law. Heating regulators, smoke detectors, money dispensers and drink dispensers require proper disposal under this law.

Why Is It Necessary?

All such products generally contain hazardous materials. The circuit boards used in all electronic devices contain heavy metals that are known to cause serious health problems if ingested, inhaled or touched. Many of these materials are highly toxic and can harm a person even in small amounts. These negative and hazardous effects of such materials were not known several decades back. However, over the years there have been many studies that proved how these material cause serious health issues in the humans and other living beings. weee requires recycling and disposal of all such items properly and safely to avoid the contamination of air, ground and water. It prevents health problems in the people and animals.

A Specialist Job

It is not easy even for the large businesses to comply with the weee regulations. Only a company specialising in recycling industry and aware of WEEE requirements can handle such wastes. It is a growing sector because businesses have to comply with these regulations or face penalties. This job is not for the companies operating in other industries. It is a specialist job that can be handled only by a dedicated and WEEE compliant recycling centre. These recycling centres use a wide variety of processes to disassemble, shred, dispose and treat such wastes. Manual, automatic or both types of processes are used for this purpose. Parts and components that cannot be recycled and reused are discarded properly and safely as required under the WEEE directives.