Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive (2002/96/EC)
The Directive 2002/96/EC on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is designed to tackle the fast increasing waste stream of electrical and electronic equipment and complements European Union measures on landfill and incineration of waste. Increased recycling of electrical and electronic equipment will limit the total quantity of waste going to final disposal. Producers will be responsible for taking back and recycling electrical and electronic equipment. This will provide incentives to design electrical and electronic equipment in an environmentally more efficient way, which takes waste management aspects fully into account.
The Directive aims to:
- reduce the waste arising from electrical and electronic equipment; and
- improve the environmental performance of all those involved in the life cycle of electrical and electronic products
Who does it affect?
Those involved in manufacturing, selling, distributing, recycling or treating electrical and electronic equipment. This includes:
- household appliances
- IT and telecommunications equipment
- audiovisual and lighting equipment
- electrical and electronic tools
- toys, leisure and sports equipment
- medical devices and
- automatic dispensers.
Hazardous substances to control
In order to prevent the generation of hazardous waste, Directive 2002/95/EC requires the substitution of various heavy metals and other hazardous substances:
- hexavalent chromium
- brominated flame retardants (polybrominated biphenyls (PBB)
- polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE)
The Directive covers WEEE used by consumers and for professional purposes.
By 1st January 2006:
- private householders will be able to return their WEEE to collection facilities free of charge;
- producers (manufacturers, sellers, distributors) will be responsible for financing the collection, treatment, recovery and disposal of WEEE from private households deposited at these collection facilities;
- producers will be responsible for financing the collection, treatment, recovery and disposal of WEEE from users other than private householders from products placed on the market after 1st January 2006; and
- producers will also be responsible for financing the management of WEEE from products placed on the market before 1st January 2006. However, it may be possible for all or part of these costs to be recovered from users other than private householders.
By 31 December 2006:
- producers will be required to achieve a series of demanding recycling and recovery targets for different categories of appliance; and
- EU member states must have reached an average target WEEE collection rate .
IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTE
The EVISA web site contains simplified guidance based on complex and changing legislation, and does not constitute legal advice. Whilst we endeavour to keep it up to date, we cannot be held liable for errors and omissions; compliance with the law remains the user's responsibility. If you have concerns over compliance, you must seek professional advice, or contact your regulator or local authority.