About the WEEE Regulations & FAQ

The WEEE regulations

The WEEE Man found at the Eden Project, Cornwall

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations (S.I. 2006:3289) and the WEEE (Amendment) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 3454) stem from an EU Directive of the same name. They came into full legal effect in the UK in July 2007 and have now been rolled out across all EU countries.

  • The WEEE Regulations ensure electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) is recycled in a sustainable way when it reaches end of life.
  • They are in place to reduce the impact electrical waste has on the environment by encouraging its reuse or recycling. It obliges manufacturers to fund the collection and recycling of their products when they reach end of life.
  • The regulations require all producers to join a compliance scheme which manages the process on their behalf, and schemes such as Recolight – which works on behalf of the lighting industry.
  • Under the Regulations the producer funds the collection, recycling and any environmentally friendly disposal. But it is the end user that has ultimate responsibility for making sure the product is recycled when it reaches end of life.

 

What’s covered by the WEEE Regulations

WEEE is Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment and covers a wide range of equipment which all contain important materials that can be recycled.

All WEEE goods have the crossed wheelie bin symbol on them, a reminder that they must be disposed of in a sustainable way and not go to landfill.

Lighting equipment covered by the WEEE regulations

  • Compact Fluorescent Lamps  – CFLs, more commonly known as low-energy or energy-saving light bulbs
  • Fluorescent tubes
  • Metal halide lamps
  • Mercury and blended lamps
  • Sodium lamps, both high and low-pressure
  • LEDs and organic LEDs (OLEDs)

The regulations cover most of the light bulbs used today both in offices, homes and outdoor applications, only filament lamps are excluded.

Electronic and electrical equipment covered by the WEEE regulations

These fall into 14 categories, the list includes examples of goods in each category, you can find a full list on the Environment Agency website.

  1. Large household appliances – white goods but not cooling equipment
  2. Small household appliances – irons, kettles, hairdryers, sewing machines, toasters, clocks
  3. IT and telecommunications equipment – computers and their accessories, calculators and phones, not monitors
  4. Consumer equipment – radios, hi-fi equipment, electronic musical instruments etc. But not televisions
  5. Lighting equipment –  light fittings, also referred to as luminaires
  6. Electrical and electronic tools – drills, welding equipment and lawnmowers
  7. Toys, leisure and sports equipment – electric train sets, video games and slot machines
  8. Medical devices – dialysis machines, ventilators and radiotherapy equipment
  9. Monitoring and control instruments – smoke detectors, thermostats and other instruments used in industrial installations
  10. Automatic dispensers – drinks, food and money dispensers
  11. Display equipment – TVs and monitors
  12. Cooling equipment  –  refrigeration equipment and air conditioning units
  13. Gas discharge & LED lamps – straight fluorescent tubes, circular fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescent lamps, high intensity discharge lamps and LEDs
  14. Photovoltaic panels

GENERAL FAQS

What are the WEEE Regulations?

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations (S.I. 2006:3289) and the WEEE (Amendment) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 3454) stem from an EU Directive of the same name and that Directive has now been rolled out across all EU countries. It came into full legal effect in the UK in July 2007

The WEEE Regulations ensure electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) is recycled in a sustainable way when it reaches end of life. The legislation is in place to reduce the impact electrical waste has on the environment by encouraging its reuse or recycling, and obliges manufacturers to fund the collection and recycling of their products when they reach end of life.

The regulations require all producers to join a compliance scheme which manages the process on their behalf, and schemes such as Recolight – which works on behalf of the lighting industry – provide these services free of charge to the end user. Under the Regulations the producer funds the collection, recycling and any environmentally friendly disposal. But it is the end user that has ultimate responsibility for making sure the product is recycled when it reaches end of life.

Who do the WEEE Regulations affect?

The WEEE Regulations affect everybody in one way or another but the primary groups affected are:

  • Producers, who become responsible for financing the end-of-life treatment of their products
  • Distributors, who become responsible in some cases for taking-back end-of-life products when new products are purchased and for providing information to users about the need for recycling and facilities for the disposal of end-of-life products.

A producer is the party which first puts Electrical or Electronic Equipment (EEE) onto the UK market, whether they are manufacturers of EEE, private brand distributors or importers. The primary responsibility is to finance the environmentally sound disposal of their products at end-of-life.
A producer is any person who:

  • Manufactures and sells electrical and electronic equipment under their own brand
  • Resells, under their own brand, equipment produced by another supplier
  • Imports electrical and electronic equipment on a professional basis into an EU Member State

Producers of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) as listed in Schedule 2 of the UK WEEE Regulations are responsible for financing and ensuring the disposal of end-of-life products in an environmentally sound way arising from both household and non-household users. There are some exemptions and limits to this that can be found in the detail in the Regulations. For Example: non-Household WEEE where there is no like-for-like replacement.
Producers must join a Compliance scheme (or provide their own Environment Agency approved scheme) which will meet this responsibility by managing and paying for the recycling and recovery of their share of this WEEE and report on what they have done to the appropriate Government authority. Full details may be found in the BIS Guidelines.

Which lamps are covered by the WEEE Regulations?

Category 13 products in scope of WEEE

regulations

Gas discharge lamps:

  • Straight fluorescent tubes
  • Circular fluorescent tubes
  • Compact fluorescent lamps
  • High Intensity Discharge lamps
    • High pressure sodium HPS or SON
    • Low pressure sodium SOX lamps (street lighting)
    • Metal halide
    • Ceramic metal halide
    • Mercury
    • Xenon
    • Induction

Most of these lamp types are used in both household and non-household applications. All gas discharge lamps  are identified under the Hazardous Waste Regulations as hazardous waste.

 

LEDs

  • LED retrofit lamps
  • OLED retrofit lamps
  • User replaceable LED modules – Zhaga modules

Category 5 products in scope of WEEE regulations

  • Traditional luminaires
  • LED luminaires
  • LED street lighting

A Luminaire is a complete lighting unit consisting of a lamp or lamps and also the parts which help to position, protect or connect the lamps.

Our Luminaire collection and recycling service is provided for our members obligated waste.

Not in scope of the WEEE regulations

  • GLS
  • Halogen lamps
  • Household luminaires

are not in scope of the WEEE regulations, and not collected by Recolight.

Who is responsible for enforcing the WEEE Regulations?

The Environment Agency for England and Wales,

Scottish Environment Protection Agency

and Northern Ireland Environment Agency

are responsible for ensuring that all eligible producers and suppliers register with a compliance scheme.

The compliance scheme is then responsible for the producers’ obligations and for getting data from its members on EEE put onto the market and for reporting on WEEE collected and recycled.

In order for us to demonstrate to the enforcement agencies that our data is correct we audit all our members. This is on a random basis and no more onerous than necessary to achieve the objective.

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