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Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive
Additional recommended knowledge
The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive) is the European Community directive 2002/96/EC on waste electrical and electronic equipment which, together with the RoHS Directive 2002/95/EC, became European Law in February 2003, setting collection, recycling and recovery targets for all types of electrical goods.
The directive imposes the responsibility for the disposal of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) on the manufacturers of such equipment. Those companies should establish an infrastructure for collecting WEEE, in such a way that "Users of electrical and electronic equipment from private households should have the possibility of returning WEEE at least free of charge". Also, the companies are compelled to use the collected waste in an ecological-friendly manner, either by ecological disposal or by reuse/refurbishment of the collected WEEE.
The WEEE Directive obliged the twenty-five EU member states to transpose its provisions into national law by 13 August 2004. Only Cyprus met this deadline. On 13 August 2005, one year after the deadline, all member states except for Malta and the UK had transposed at least framework regulations. As the national transposition of the WEEE Directive varies between the member states, a patchwork of requirements and compliance solutions is emerging across Europe.
In a bid to emphasise the importance of this directive, in April 2005 the Royal Society of Arts in the UK (in conjunction with Canon) unveiled a 7 metre tall sculpture entitled 'WEEE Man' on London's South Bank, made from 3.3 tonnes of electrical goods - the average amount of electrical waste one UK individual creates in a lifetime. The giant figure was subsequently moved to the Eden Project in Cornwall as part of a UK tour.
[EU Regulations compliance (WEEE, RoHS, Batteries, REACH) ]
- e-Waste Guide - A knowledge base for the sustainable recycling of e-Waste
- European Commission WEEE page
- RoHS directive (PDF)
- WEEE directive (PDF)
- Guidance on WEEE registration in every EEA (EU+EFTA) member state
- Professional and tailormade guidance and general expertise in all 27 Member States(+Norway and Switzerland)
- EIATRACK - Electronic Industries Alliance Regulatory Tracking Tool
- WEEE Man
- The Royal Society of Arts
- Technosteria- an informative page on WEEE and RoHS
- WEEE and RoHS Legislation in Europe
- WEEE Recycling Directory for the UK
- WEEE information for businesses
- VCA- The UK Enforcement Body for WEEE Distributor Obligations
- FRN, the not-for-profit UK coordinator of WEEE re-use and collection activities
- RTA, the not-for-profit Dutch organization for professional equipment WEEE collection and recycling activities
- not-for-profit WEEE collector and reuser in Bristol and the West of England
- More on WEEE from Electronics Weekly