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Why Recycle WEEE?

Each year, an estimated 2 million tonnes of WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) is discarded by householders and companies in the UK. What is WEEE? WEEE includes most equipment with a plug, or needing a battery, and in 2013 the government introduced the WEEE regulations.

The regulations state that producers of non-household EEE are obligated to finance the cost of collection, treatment, recovery and environmentally sound disposal. In November last year, a recycling company were prosecuted by the Environment Agency for illegally exporting WEEE to Africa. In a statement afterwards, Andrew Higham, leader of the Environment Agency’s National Environment Crime team said “All organisations handling waste have a responsibility to check they know where their waste is going so it doesn’t end up causing harm to people or the environment.” This includes checking that the person collecting your waste is disposing of it responsibly and has the correct environmental permits.

For householders, the crossed out wheelie bin symbol that appears on electronics is there to encourage consumers to make a responsible choice. The provision of free disposal is made through collection banks and like-for-like swap schemes with retailers. Distributors of EEE have an obligation to take back items from private households.

So, what can you do to make sure you don’t fall foul of the regulations? Thoroughly check your waste providers, ensuring you see environmental permits. At Secure Paper, we do not sell to anywhere outside of the UK. All working items are securely wiped and restored before being passed on, within the UK. Non-working items are disassembled and the parts recycled.

You can find out more about WEEE recycling here.

Emily Morrey-McGrath

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