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