There are various mentions of WEEE waste throughout our website, but we are happy to assist if you are unsure what this particular piece of jargon refers to. Below, we explain more about what WEEE waste is and how we can help with responsible disposal of it.
The emergence of the term WEEE
WEEE stands for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment. The term became relevant in UK law when the original WEEE Directive was implemented in this country as a result of the WEEE Regulations 2006. This Directive stipulated requirements for recovering, reusing, recycling and treating WEEE, but new regulations replaced these when, on 1 January 2014, the Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations 2013 became law.
How does legislation define WEEE waste?
As the WEEE term is routinely used in pieces of legislation concerning waste management, it makes sense for us to answer the question, “What is WEEE waste?”, by judging what UK law defines as WEEE waste. Thankfully, UK law makes its definition very clear…
WEEE waste can be generally described as most waste products that come with a plug or require a battery. For a more precise definition, we can look to the Health and Safety Executive’s list of the ten broad categories of WEEE waste, as outlined within the present regulations. Those categories are:
Large household appliances, such as fridges, cookers and washing machines;
Small household appliances, like irons, vacuum cleaners and clocks;
IT and telecommunications equipment, such as telephones and personal computers;
Consumer equipment, like televisions, radios and camcorders;
Lighting equipment, like high intensity discharge lamps;
Electrical and electronic tools, such as drills, saws and electric lawnmowers;
Toys, leisure and sports equipment, like electric trains and games consoles;
Medical devices, such as analysers and cardiology equipment;
Monitoring and control equipment, like thermostats and heating regulators;
Automatic dispensers, such as hot drinks dispensers.
What currently make up especially large amounts of WEEE?
Over 40% of WEEE waste currently comprises of large household appliances, like ovens and washing machines. However, there are various other items which take up big shares of WEEE; these include small household appliances, electrical tools, electronic toys, digital watches and medical devices. IT equipment – particularly computers – can also be listed here, as can TVs, over two million of which are discarded each year.
Can WEEE recycle it? Yes, we can
The material composition of WEEE waste can hugely vary between different items and categories. For example, a typical TV can consist of 50% glass and 6% metal, while a cooker can be made up of 89% metal and 6% glass.
The complex mix of materials, some hazardous, in WEEE waste calls for particularly careful recycling. This is why, if you have any such waste on your hands, it’s a good idea to arrange for your WEEE waste to be suitably recycled by our professional team. Once we have your items, we will handle all of them to the standards set under the WEEE Directive. Feel free to get in touch with us for a free quote.