Electronic Waste Disposal Explained

WEEE stands for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment and includes most items that use a plug or battery. As the fastest growing waste stream in the world, with around 2 million tonnes being produced in the UK alone, electronic waste disposal is a very real challenge.

Incorrect electronic waste disposal can result in exposure to hazardous or poisonous material such as mercury, lead and phosphorus pentachloride. Also substantial health risks, danger of fire and significant negative impact to the environment. As well as the loss of valuable and finite resources.

Ensuring the safe, responsible and environmentally-friendly electronic waste disposal means adhering to European WEEE guidelines.

The regulations with regard to WEEE are fairly complex due to different categories of equipment with different requirements, but first and foremost, where equipment disposal can be avoided, it should be. Repair and refurbishment options become a priority, extending the useable life of equipment so it can be redeployed or resold, preventing it from becoming waste. Software and configurations can also be updated meaning the equipment can remain serviceable for far longer than you might expect.

Where reuse really is an unfeasible solution, WEEE needs to be treated carefully through the correct disposal process.

The disassembly of WEEE by hand, combined with the use of specialist equipment, maximises the separation of materials to ensure the highest proportion of critical material is salvaged in its purest form. The high quality output from this process also yields the greatest value and can be sold for reuse in manufacturing.

Electronic waste originating in the EU should also, where possible, remain within the EU for processing. This keeps the carbon impact of the process to a minimum. It also provides more reassurance of compliance to European guidelines.

Conclusion

The best and easiest way to ensure your redundant equipment is responsibly reused or recycled is to find a supplier who can manage the removal and disposal of your equipment for you. A specialist suppler will provide a certificate of disposal as proof of legal compliance and in many cases will also manage the destruction of data from any equipment simultaneously to ensure data security.

Here at Hardware.com, we take the recycling and disposal of electrical equipment very seriously. Along with the integrity of your data. We are registered to handle the recycling/disposal of all IT and communications equipment. We can also provide fully certified, CESG-approved data destruction services.

A final barrier to equipment recycling can lie in the logistics. With full collection services available, we remove equipment direct from your premises. Disruption to you is kept to a minimum.

Value Added Services

Want to learn more about our WEEE, System Decommissioning and Lifecycle Services? Check out our Value Added Services.