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Short explanation of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment recycling (WEEE)

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What does WEEE stand for?

WEEE stands for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment.

What is WEEE? 

Every year in the UK an estimated that 2 million tons of WEEE items are discarded by companies and householders.  The easiest way to determine what products fall into the WEEE category is by asking yourself two simple questions.

  1. Does it have a plug?
  2. Does it require batteries? 

In 2006 the WEEE Regulations were set by the original WEEE directive in the UK.  With this came the associated requirements for the recovery, reuse, recycling and treatment of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment.

The recycling of WEEE products falls under a specialist part of the recycling and waste industry. This sub-sector of the waste industry is one of the fastest growing due to the original WEEE Directive back in 2006.  On the 1st of January 2014 the ‘Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations 2013’ replaced the old regulations.

WEEE products are currently broken down into ten broad categories within ‘The Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations 2013’ NewLife appliances mainly deals within the first three;

Large household appliances – washing machines, fridges, cookers, ovens, dishwashers tumble dryers

  1. Small household appliances – toasters, clocks, kettles, irons, hair straighteners
  2. Telecommunications and IT equipment – laptops, calculators, printers, photocopiers, telephones
  3. Lighting equipment – high intensity discharge lamps, fluorescent tubes
  4. Electrical tools – sewing machines, drills, jigsaws, lawnmowers, saws
  5. Sports equipment, leisure and toys – treadmill, games consoles, electric trains
  6. Automatic dispensers – ATMs, hot drinks machines
  7. Consumers equipment – televisions, stereos, cameras, musical instruments, radios
  8. None infected medical equipment – medical freezers, cardiology equipment, dialysis machines
  9. Control, monitoring and safety equipment – smoke alarms, heating regulators, thermostats

These categories will be extended to cover a greater range of electric and electronic equipment (EEE) from January 2019.

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