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In the run-up to the 2022 International E-Waste Day #ewasteday. S2S Group has created a quick guide to e-waste that you may want to pass on to your manager.
According to GlobalWaste.org, “Electronic waste, or e-waste, refers to all items of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and its parts that have been discarded by its owner as waste without the intent of re-use. E-waste is also referred to as WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment)”
The UN Global E-Waste Monitor reported in 2020 that e-waste is the world’s largest waste stream, often containing materials that are toxic to both health and the surrounding environment.
The first thing you need to know about e-waste is that under UK law, businesses should be financially responsible for the equipment they manufacture and the waste that this produces throughout its life cycle. Find out about the WEEE government regulations.
E-waste or waste electric and electronic equipment (WEEE) is regulated by UK law (The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2013) to reduce the volume of waste incinerated or sent to landfill. According to the legislation:
‘Reduction is achieved through various measures which encourage the recovery, reuse, and recycling of products and components.’
Thirdly, in figures published by the Environment Agency, the rate of e-waste recycling in the UK is above (31.2%) the UN’s global average rate of 17.4%. Due to the toxic and potentially hazardous impact of improperly disposed e-waste, there will always be an effort to improve this number.
E-waste contains valuable metal materials, such as cobalt, lithium, palladium, copper, and gold, whose value is lost when not recovered through recycling channels. By choosing a registered waste carrier you can recover some of the value of these metals when recycled.
The UK generated the second most electrical waste and equipment in the world per capita, only behind Norway in 2019.
There are 14 areas of WEEE currently covered by UK legislation. Producers of WEEE must assess and classify this waste as either B2B or B2C and correctly identify which category it falls into. For further information on the categories of waste electrical and electronic equipment, there is a Governmental Advice here.
You and your business need to comply with WEEE regulations if it:
- Distributes, sells, imports, or manufactures, electrical or electronic equipment (EEE) further guidance is available here.
- Reprocesses or recycles WEEE, including the treatment and recovery of waste electrical and electronic equipment.
- Produces any WEEE which falls under the 14 WEEE categories.
Choosing an accredited waste carrier for the disposal of WEEE is essential. Opting for unregulated services can leave your business vulnerable to prosecution. Companies such as S2S Group offer this accredited service from its Approved Authorised Treatment Facility. With 0% waste going direct to landfill.
Data bearing WEEE needs to be disposed of in line with Data Protection Act (GDPR) regulations. If you want to avoid fines and keep business data safe, choose an accredited waste carrier like S2S Group which can ensure compliance with all relevant legislation giving you peace of mind.
What you can do next with your WEEE
If you want to find out more about waste electric and electronic equipment (WEEE) and how your business can benefit from choosing an accredited disposal company get in touch with S2S Group.