What Is WEEE Recycling and How Can I Get Involved?

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Posted by Keith Hirst on 17 December 2019

When it comes to recycling, there’s a wealth of guidance and resources readily available to help the UK get bin smart. One specialist part of the waste disposal process, and a term that can often cause confusion, is WEEE recycling; what it encompasses, why it’s needed and what the directive achieves. That’s why this month Thompson Fuel & Skip Hire are here to explain all-things WEEE, and encourage the safe and correct disposal of all waste electrical and electronic equipment. 


What is WEEE recycling?

As part of an environmental legislation that was introduced in 2007, when electrical and electronic equipment reach their end-of-life stage (becomes waste), they should be treated correctly and the materials recycled where possible. 

First and foremost, this is for health and safety purposes – many of the items and materials are hazardous, and must be handled appropriately. What’s more, WEEE recycling is especially beneficial for the environment and the planet we live on. The less we direct to landfills the better, and the aim is to make both consumers and businesses aware of the directive.


weee waste

What’s classed as WEEE waste?

As two broad categories, WEEE waste can be split into household or non-household unwanted electricals. Household waste can be anything ranging from a small appliance, such a kitchen kettle or toaster, up to larger appliances like a washing machine. Non-household waste is produced by businesses, such as the lights and monitors in an office, and collected by a PCS. 

Some WEEE waste is technically classed as hazardous, and although this is  less common, it’s always best to check if you’re ever unsure. For example, a fridge is technically classed as domestic EEE, but older models may contain ODS – ozone-depleting substances – which are extremely harmful chemicals. Other toxic items can contain lead or mercury, both of which have the potential to pollute waters or leak into the earth. 


How do I dispose of WEEE waste?

haradous weee waste

Look out for the crossed-out wheelie bin symbol on a product, it’s packaging or the leaflet, as this indicates that the product must be taken to a separate collection. The most important thing is that the unwanted electricals don’t go in a municipal bin; if unsorted, these items will be directed straight to the landfill along with all other general household waste. 

It is best practice to ensure that all WEEE is handled with caution, so take care when storing such items as you prepare to move them. Look for a local WEEE collection point, and always speak to an expert should you have any concerns. Hazardous items will need to be directed to a specialist facility via a collection service, and again, it’s important to do your research and to ensure the items are disposed of safely. 



WEEE Waste Management

Here at Thompson Fuel & Skip Hire, we’re committed to zero waste to landfill, which is why we have our very own dedicated waste management centre. This means that with any WEEE items that we collect via our skips, the items are dismantled, separated and then broken down to be disposed of appropriately. So let’s tackle this environmental issue head on – together we can make an impact.


To find out more about waste management at Thompson Fuels & Skip Hire, or for further information about the materials we recycle and how our services could benefit you, simply contact our team of specialists today. We provide our services across Doncaster, Epworth and the surrounding areas for your convenience.  


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