All electrical items featuring the 'Crossed Bin' logo are covered by the WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive) Regulations (2003/2007). These indicate devices and peripherals that cannot legally be sent to landfill under UK and EU law. Instead of being dumped, WEEE items must be sent to a professional recycling and salvage company, so that working or valuable parts and materials can be removed and reused. WEEE-compliant recycling allows the dangerous substances inside many circuit boards and components (such as mercury) to be safely disposed of in a controlled environment.
Businesses with a high turnover of IT equipment must have a WEEE policy in place to dispose of their old, faulty, and unwanted electronics. Since 2007, there have been 10 categories of WEEE electronics that can be recycled in the United Kingdom.
1. Large Household Appliances
White box, high-power goods such as fridges, freezers, ovens, grills, washing machines, dryers, and fryers. This category includes some boilers and peripherals. If it's a standalone utility appliance used in a kitchen, heating circuit, utility room, or bathroom it's very likely to fall under this heading.
2. Small Household Appliances
Anything powered, domestic, non-interactive, and non-visual, and (reasonably) portable by one person. Microwaves, toasters, hairdryers, vacuum cleaners, irons, and straighteners are all covered under the description of 'small'.
3. Automatic Dispensers
Defunct or broken automated vending machines, such as coffee and snack dispensers. Typically, only heavy commercial equipment qualifies.
4. Consumer Equipment
Generic audio/visual entertainment and IT devices sold and intended for household or light commercial use. Monitors, televisions, laptops, radios, stereos, and game consoles (handheld and static) all qualify. The same standards apply for business-owned and personal assets.
Any standalone electrical lighting fixtures, including replaceable lightbulbs, lamps, spotlights, uplights, and LED striplights.
6. Electrical Tools
Battery-operated, solar-powered and mains-powered power tools, including drills, saws, and desktop lathes. Some smaller, static industrial cutting and tooling machines may also qualify for recycling under WEEE.
7. Medical Devices
Anything specifically medical and electronic used in a GP surgery, for surgery, or general patient care in hospices, private homes, and hospitals. This category covers everything from insulin pumps and thermometers to blood pressure readers.
8. IT And Telecoms
Routers, internet-enabled computers, mobile phones, landline phones, and short-range WLAN devices. If it can talk to another electronic device with or without wires as a primary purpose, it falls under the heading of IT and Telecoms. PCs, tablets, and laptops qualify as there is now significant overlap with consumer electronics since the original creation of the WEEE directive.
9. Electronic Toys And Leisure Items
Any device used for entertainment that isn't exclusively static and audio/visual. This includes sporting equipment, as well as soft toys with a dedicated electronic component inside them (such as a Furby).
10. Monitoring And Control Equipment
CCTV systems and cameras, scientific equipment, control panels, alarms, and local audio-visual relays all fall under this category.
Affordable And Efficient WEEE Recycling For Businesses
Most office-based businesses produce WEEE waste under categories 4, 5 and 8. As well as requiring safe recycling, many devices in these categories are also capable of data storage. It is the data controller’s responsibility to safeguard the personal data of their data subjects by completely removing sensitive information before asset recycling.
At Absolute IT Asset Disposal, our trained team of technicians are qualified to handle all categories of WEEE waste. In addition, our data shredding equipment renders all storage devices unreadable – ensuring your customer’s sensitive data is protected. Please call 01332 371 989 to discuss your asset disposal requirements, or click here to request a quote.
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