With recycling and environmental issues now to the fore, it is now time to make sure you dispose of any electrical or electronic equipment in a responsible, environmentally friendly manner.
Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment or WEEE as it is now known, is a one of the largest growing forms of waste. This includes kitchen appliances such as fridges and cookers being dumped on roadsides. In order to tackle this problem, the European Union has introduced the WEEE directive. Under this directive, all producers of electrical and electronic equipment must finance the recovery and recycling of waste electrical and electronic household equipment.
The question for most of us is “What do I do with my electrical waste?”
Each of us has a personal responsibility for our own waste. Electrical and electronic equipment contain hazardous waste materials, which threaten both the environment and human health. These must be disposed of and sorted in an environmentally friendly manner. Electrical and electronic equipment must not be disposed of in household waste. This applies to all household appliances – even the small ones like hairdryers, cd players etc.
A number of measures have been put in place to assist consumers in disposing of electrical and electronic equipment:
- Retailers are required by law to take back waste electrical goods and electronic equipment from customers free of charge.
- This take back policy is on a one-on-one basis. So when you buy a new washing machine, your retailer must accept your old washing machine for disposal. Items must be of a similar type so the retailer does not have to accept a washing machine when you purchase a toaster.
- The retailer must take back the product at the time of sale or within 15 days of purchase.
- If an appliance is being delivered, it is at that point that the seller must accept the old appliance.
All the take-back options available are free to the consumer.
- You can also dispose of appliances at your local authorities civic amenities free of charge.
If this is free to the public, then who pays for the recycling?
WEE Ireland and the European Recycling Platform manage the recycling system in Ireland. Both of these companies are financed through the system of Environmental Management Costs.