Mercury Recycling
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The WEEE Directive


The European Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive aims to reduce the amount of WEEE going to landfill, by requiring all manufacturers and producers to take responsibility for what happens to the products they sell at the end of their lives.

Accompanying the WEEE Directive is the Restriction of Certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive, which restricts the use of certain toxic substances, such as lead, in printed circuit boards.

 

The WEEE directive at a glance

 

An introduction to the requirements of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive and the related Restriction of Certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive, which restricts the use of certain toxic substances, such as lead, used in printed circuit boards.

Objectives of the WEEE Directive


to increase reuse, recycling and other forms of recovery, leading to a reduction in the amount of waste going to landfill or incineration to improve the environmental performance of all operators involved in the life cycle of electrical and electronic equipment to set criteria for the collection, treatment, recycling and recovery of WEEE making producers responsible for financing most of these activities - private householders are to be able to return WEEE without charge


The WEEE Directive requires producers to take a whole-life responsibility for their products and to meet given targets. They will also need to provide data to demonstrate compliance.

 

Who will it affect?

 

The WEEE Directive covers all electrical and electronic equipment with voltages up to 1,000 AC and 1,500 DC and will affect virtually all producers and manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment, regardless of company size.


Producers are defined as: manufacturers who sell their own brand resellers under their own brand importers or exporters into an EU member state


Targets for the 10 categories


Once implemented, producers in the UK will be responsible for financing the collection of their products at end-of-life and meeting targets for reuse, recycling and recovery under 10 broad categories.


Note: in the following categories, all percentages refer to an average weight per appliance.

Category 1: large household appliances
the rate of recovery shall be increased to a minimum of 80% component, material and substance reuse and recycling shall be increased to a minimum of 75%


Category 2: small household appliance
the rate of recovery shall be increased to a minimum of 70% component, material and substance reuse and recycling shall be increased to a minimum of 50%


Category 3: IT and telecommunications equipment
the rate of recovery shall be increased to a minimum of 75% component, material and substance reuse and recycling shall be increased to a minimum of 65%


Category 4: consumer equipment
the rate of recovery shall be increased to a minimum of 75%
component, material and substance reuse and recycling shall be increased to a minimum of 65%


Category 5: lighting equipment
the rate of recovery shall be increased to a minimum of 70%
component, material and substance reuse and recycling shall be increased to a minimum of 50%


Category 6: electrical and electronic tools
(with the exception of large-scale stationary industrial tools) the rate of recovery shall be increased to a minimum of 70% component, material and substance reuse and recycling shall be increased to a minimum of 50%


Category 7: toys, leisure and sports equipment
the rate of recovery shall be increased to a minimum of 70%
component, material and substance reuse and recycling shall be increased to a minimum of 50%


Category 8: medical devices
(with the exception of all implanted and infected products) the rate of recovery shall be increased to a minimum of 70% component, material and substance reuse and recycling shall be increased to a minimum of 50%


Category 9: monitoring and controlling instruments
the rate of recovery shall be increased to a minimum of 70%
component, material and substance reuse and recycling shall be increased to a minimum of 50%


Category 10: automatic dispensers
the rate of recovery shall be increased to a minimum of 80%
component, material and substance reuse and recycling shall be increased to a minimum of 75%

(European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, 2003)


RoHS Directive

 

The RoHS Directive sets out to: restrict the use of hazardous substances contribute to the environmentally sound recovery and disposal of WEEE

The directive covers a wide variety of equipment across 10 categories, including large and small household appliances, consumer goods such as TVs and hi fi equipment, as well as toys, telecommunications, computers, tools and automatic dispensers. Medical appliances and monitoring and control equipment are exempted.

 

As of 1 July 2006, the RoHS Directive will ban the placing on the EU market of new electrical and electronic equipment containing more than agreed levels of:

RoHS takes its scope broadly from the WEEE Directive. The list of restricted substances is likely to be extended to cover more brominated flame retardants, which are currently under review by the EU.


It is the producers’ responsibility to ensure their products are compliant. Non–compliance could result in legal proceedings and fines.

 

The WEEE directive in detail


A more detailed look at the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive and the related Restriction of Certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive. Why were these directives developed? What is the anticipated impact on the British economy? What is the awareness among businesses (or the lack of it) plus information on further proposed legislation – The Energy-using Products (EuP) Directive

Why were the directives developed?

In the UK, around 222 million units of electrical and electronic equipment are put on to the market each year. Electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) has been identified as producing one of the fastest-growing waste streams in the EU. It constitutes 4% of municipal waste today and is increasing by 16% to 28% every five years – three times as fast as the growth of average municipal waste (1 million tonnes EEE per year).

 

In response, the EU introduced the following directives, which became European law from 13 February 2003: Directive 2002/96/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 January 2003 on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive 2002/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 January 2003 on the Restriction of Certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS)

 

The directives aim to: combat this waste mountain reduce the level of pollution encourage manufacturers to focus on environmentally friendly designs


The directives involve the concept of extended producer responsibility. In order to comply with the legislation, producers of EEE will need to consider the entire life cycle of electrical and electronic products, including the product's durability, upgrading, reparability, disassembly and the use of easily recycled materials.

 

Impact on the British economy

 

The infrastructure to implement the WEEE Directive is currently being established.

The associated costs of WEEE compliance are also being finalised. The UK Government estimates it will cost UK companies up to £455 million to comply with the directive. Individual companies could incur costs of 1% to 4% of sales.

 

How aware are businesses?

 

A number of surveys have found widespread ignorance among manufacturers and retailers about the impending WEEE and RoHS directives. More than half of global manufacturers of electronic and electrical equipment do not know how to comply with the impending EU recycling initiatives.

 

According to an online poll by US compliance testing firm TUV Rheinland, most firms are ignorant of how their responsibilities (and costs) will increase when the schemes come into force. The report states that this lack of understanding presents a "serious situation" for makers of such products. Manufacturers that do not comply with the WEEE Directive will not be able to sell their products in the EU.

 

Other findings include: 89% of SMEs are unaware of legislation 65% are disposing of electronic equipment in a way that does not comply with the directive 55% know nothing about their company's environmental obligations and responsibilities, according to a survey by MIREC Asset Management

 

The EuP Directive

 

In August 2003, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a framework directive promoting more environmentally friendly design requirements for energy-using products (EuP).

The draft directive applies to any product using energy, regardless of whether it is powered by electricity, fossil fuels or renewable fuels (with the exception of means of transport).


Reasons for the EuP Directive: Energy-using products (EuP) account for a large proportion of the consumption of natural resources and energy in the community Improvements in environmental performance of EuPs are seen as an important part of the EC's commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 8% below 1990 levels by 2008-2012

It is estimated that more than 80% of all product-related environmental impacts are determined during the product-design phase (German federal Environmental Agency, 2000)

 

What the EuP Directive means for producers

The EuP Directive requires producers to evaluate ecological profiles and designs before placing their products on the market (CE marked).


The directive imposes no direct obligations, but implementation measures targeted at particular products (or product categories) may require generic or specific eco-design requirements: generic requirements are likely to be process-based, i.e. encouraging manufacturers to evaluate the design of their products to improve their environmental performance specific requirements could be quantified targets or levels for a particular environmental aspect (e.g. energy consumption in use phase)

 

What does the EuP Directive mean for Europe?

The EuP Directive is based on Article 95 of the EU treaty. This is intended to ensure market harmonisation of product-related environmental protection requirements. Coherent EU-wide eco-design rules will prevent disparities among national regulations becoming obstacles to intra-EU trade.


National governments will have to pass the legislation to conform to the EuP by 31 December 2005, and implement it by 1 July 2006.


Legal obligations through product-specific implementation are thought to be some way off, but voluntary measures in the meantime may avoid mandatory ones. Implementation can be through an EMS or internal design control.

 

[source www.weeeman.org]

the weeeman

The WEEE Man is made from the amount of waste electrical and electronic products that an average UK citizen – YOU – will throw away in YOUR lifetime, if YOU carry on disposing of products at the current rate. Currently most of these products go straight into landfill. From January 2006 manufactures & retailers will be responsible for recycling this waste under new EU legislation called the WEEE (Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment) Directive.


Weeeman

 

Weeeman - Eden Project

 

The Weee Directive
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