WEEE Waste Recycling Handed Back To Producers

New EU Directive Aims To Stop Electrical Equipment Ending Up in Landfill Site

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Chiswick Recycling Action Group

A new EU initiative came into force this week handing responsibility for recycling electrical equipment back to the producers.

The EU’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive) aims to minimise the impact of electrical and electronic goods on the environment, by increasing re-use and recycling and reducing the amount of WEEE going to landfill.

It seeks to achieve this by making producers responsible for financing the collection, treatment, and recovery of waste electrical equipment, and by obliging distributors to allow consumers to return their waste equipment free of charge.

A spokesperson for LBH explains, “WEEE applies the principle of 'extended producer responsibility'. Under this principle, producers of EEE are required to take financial responsibility for the environmental impact of products they place on the market, when the products become waste.”

“Producers can do this in one of two ways. Firstly an 'in-store take back scheme' - buy a fridge/washing machine etc, get your old one taken away by the retailer. Secondly by the producers participating in the 'Distributor Take Back Scheme'. This route enables local authorities to use their Civic Amenity Sites such as Space Waye Reuse and Recycling Centre to be designated collection points.”

“Hounslow has designated this site, together with all the other sites in the West Waste area. The WEEE that these sites deal with can now be collected from Civic Amenity sites and disposed of free of charge to the local authority by the particular Distributor Take Back Scheme.”

The WEEE Regulations apply to electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) which falls within the 10 product categories listed in the WEEE Directive:-

  • Large household appliances
  • Small household appliances
  • IT & Telecommunications equipment
  • Consumer equipment
  • Lighting equipment
  • Electrical and electronic tools
  • Toys leisure and sports equipment
  • Medical devices
  • Monitoring and control instruments
  • Automatic dispensers

The WEEE Regulations will apply to the following groups:

  • Producers (any business that manufactures imports or rebrands electrical and electronic products)
  • Retailers and Distributors (any business that sells electrical and electronic equipment to end users)
  • Local authorities
  • Waste management industry
  • Exporters and reprocessors
  • Businesses and other non-household users of EEE


July 4, 2007