All you need to know about the WEEE Regulations – what they are and what they do.

You’ll also find a guide to the the Recolight recycling process, document  downloads, and useful links.

  • The lamp recycling process and how Recolight manage this on behalf of our Lighting Producer Members.
  • All about WEEE and the regulations.
  • A glossary of terms for all things WEEE and EEE.
  • FAQs for lighting producers and business end users.
  • Download section for Recolight and Environment Agency documents.
  • Useful links for Businesses and Lighting Producers.

If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, contact us.

Householders will find information about recycling low energy light bulbs on the pages for Consumers.


Reuse and recycling of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment – WEEE

The WEEE Regulations were introduced to the UK in 2007. Their purpose is to make sure Electronic and Electrical Equipment (EEE) is recycled; keeping this harmful waste stream from landfill.

The regulations aim to improve the environmental performance of businesses that manufacture, supply, use, recycle and recover EEE. You may have obligations under the WEEE Regulations if you are a business which sells electrical or electronic equipment.

The WEEE directive covers a wide range of electrical and electronic products including TVs, DVD and video recorders, IT equipment, medical devices and monitoring and control instruments.

The Regulations affect all parties in the electronics industry in one way or another but the primary groups are producers who become responsible for financing the end-of-life treatment of their products, and distributors who become responsible in some cases for taking-back end-of-life products when new products are purchased.

The regulations require all producers of electrical and electronic equipment 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 its share of the collection, recycling and 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.

2012 WEEE Directive recast and UK WEEE Regulation update

The EU published the WEEE Directive Recast in July 2012.

All EU Member states had 18 months to implement the changes. The UK government published the updated WEEE regulations in December 2013 and it was implemented in January 2014.

Along with the changes to the WEEE directive, the UK Government took the opportunity, through the Government’s Red Tape Challenge, to implement a system in the UK that is fair to all.

Key changes to the EU WEEE directive and UK WEEE regulations

Key changes to the EU WEEE directive

Member States recycling targets

There is a change to the targets given to Member States on the level of collections of WEEE.

  • Previously there was a target of 4Kg/head of population, which the UK has comfortably exceeded.
  • This has moved to a percentage of the average weight of the three previous years’ put on market figures.
  • The target started at 45% for 2016, rising to 65% by 2019.

The Member State target from 2016 applies to all WEEE – whether from household or non-household sources.

Move to an open scope

In January 2019, The Regulations move to an open scope. This means all products which meet the definition of electrical products are in scope, unless they are covered by an exclusion. The previous household luminaire exclusion has been removed bringing them into scope. Other lighting products coming into scope are wiring accessories such as plugs, sockets, switches

  • Incandescent lamps will remain excluded from the directive.

DOWNLOAD > Household luminaires and WEEE open scope – A Definitive Guide for Lighting Published by Recolight 2018

LED lamps

LED lamps are in scope within the UK.

Very small WEEE collections by retailers

Retailers with floor space of 400m2 or more dedicated to the sale of EEE, will be required to collect very small WEEE – defined as up to 25cm in any one dimension. This will therefore include a requirement to separately collect waste CFLs, unless they choose to join the Distributor Takeback Scheme.

Key changes UK WEEE regulations

The following is a summary of key changes, more detail can be found on the Recolight Blog

The WEEE regulations demonstrate that the government is fundamentally committed to changing the household WEEE system.

Changes implemented in January 2014:

  • Gas Discharge Lamps and LED light sources in the same category – This was a common sense approach which recognises the change taking place in the lighting market.  It also reduced the risk of an unfunded fluorescent lamp waste stream in the years to come.
  • Change to the household WEEE system – The government has implemented a system incorporating collection targets and a compliance fee alternative if targets are not met by a Producer Compliance Scheme.
  • De minimis threshold of 5 tonnes – In the regulations there is no requirement for a producer of EEE to join a compliance scheme if their put on market is less than five tonnes a year. For more information about the De Minimis and the options available, please go to our page for Small Producers.
  • The non-household (B2B) WEEE system remains largely unchanged.

Links to WEEE directive and regulation documents

Joint Trade Association lobbying for a fair approach

Recolight supports the Joint Trade Associations (JTA) and have lobbied for a fair approach to the regulations.

The JTA is composed of nine trade associations, their members include: