Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE Directive) first became law in February 2003, but since then they have gone through a number of changes. The most recent changes came into being on 1st January 2019, so it’s crucial that businesses understand exactly how to abide by them. The maximum fine, at present, stands at £5,000 for not working towards these regulations, so it’s time to learn a little more to avoid a nasty penalty.
Compliance with the WEEE Directive
Safely Discarding your Old Tech
The majority of offices will contain electrical equipment and, while this will serve your business well for many years, there will come a time where it’s no longer useful for your needs. Perhaps it’s been superseded by superior technology or maybe it simply doesn’t operate as effectively as it once did. Previously, the tendency has been to dispose of this electronic equipment by taking it to the local refuse centre or simply leaving it out with the rubbish. With the WEEE directive, however, matters have changed significantly.
Non-household waste that contains batteries or has a plug attached to it now needs to be treated differently. For businesses, this requires a significant change to their waste procedures. No longer can these assets be disposed of in a manner that is, in the modern day, considered irresponsible to the environment. You may be surprised to learn this, but electronic waste is estimated to contain over 1,000 substances that are a mixture of hazardous and non-hazardous. More troubling is the fact that the toxicity of many of these substances is not entirely clear.
Reuse and Recycle
Compounding this fact is the rapid development of technology. Take mobile phones, for example, which are upgraded on an almost yearly basis but are packed full of various components and chemicals that are potentially dangerous to the environment and our health. Therefore, the WEEE directive is striving to improve our handling of electronic waste. And that’s why, more than ever before, we’re looking to reuse, recycle and recover products targeted by the WEEE directive.
Office PCs, for example, are highly recyclable pieces of electronic equipment with around 99% of their components capable of being broken down into categories such as glass, plastic, ferrous and non-ferrous metals amongst many others. Not only does this approach allow materials to be reused, but it also takes the strain off landfill sites which are already struggling to hold and dispose of waste. Additionally, the power that this recycling and reusing process saves ensures that it can be used for more productive means such as powering your business.
If you’re working with electronic machinery then you clearly need to make a change to ensure you stay in line with the WEEE directive.
Call in the Experts
Thankfully, we’re in a position to be able to help you and your business. With a firm understanding of how the WEEE directive expects you to handle waste, we can take the headache out of this factor for you. Safely disposing of your electronic waste and ensuring that it’s recycled efficiently, we can reduce your carbon footprint and make sure that you comply with the law and avoid any financial penalties.
If you’d like more information on the WEEE directive, or office clearance generally, don’t hesitate to get in touch.