The WEEE Directive

WEEE waste
The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive is an EU initiative which aims to reduce the amount of electrical and electronic equipment being produced and encourage everyone to reuse, recycle and recover it. The UK Regulations implementing the WEEE Directive came into effect in January 2007.

The directive covers all types of electrical and electronic equipment including computers, printers, other IT equipment, fax machines, photocopiers, fridges, kettles etc.

All redundant and waste computer equipment is classed as WEEE and must be recycled closely following Best Available Treatment Recovery and Recycling Techniques (BATRRT) and treatment of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment guidelines. Follow the link weee-batrrt-guidance for more details.

The WEEE Directive contains regulation and guidelines relating to the Hazardous Waste Act 2005. Some items of electronic IT equipment are also classed as hazardous waste including CRT/TFT monitors, fluorescent tubes and lead acid batteries. Disposal of these items is covered by the Hazardous Waste Act 2005 regulations.

The WEEE Directive applies to every organisation and business that uses electrical equipment in the workplace.
Under the WEEE Directive organisations are not allowed to throw redundant electronic equipment away or pass it on without first ensuring that the relevant ‘Duty of Care’ documentation is completed.

The Hazardous Waste Act 2005 states that any organisation that disposes of more than 500kg (approx 40 or more 17” CRT monitors) of hazardous electronic equipment per year must register with the Environment Agency as a producer of hazardous waste. For organisations with more than one site, each site that exceeds the 500kg limit will need to be registered.

You can register online with the Environment Agency. Registration costs £18.00 per site alternatively RePC can complete the registration for you. This will cost £18.00 for the registration plus a £2.00 administration fee.

If you are not disposing of monitors, batteries or fluorescent tubes it is unlikely that you will need to register, however if you are disposing of non hazardous WEEE you will still need to ensure you dispose of the equipment responsibly and comply with the relevant regulations
If your organisation needs to dispose of electronic equipment and or hazardous waste you should contact a reputable Environmental Agency registered recycler

In addition to your recycling responsibilities your organisation must adhere to the provisions of the Data Protection Act and ensure that all data stored on computers and related equipment is correctly data wiped and certified when you dispose of it.