WEEE recycling is a term that gets thrown around rather a lot as of late, yet many people are still none the wiser as to what the term actually means, or to what the directive itself aims to achieve. So, this month, Wilton Waste Recycling are here to rectify this problem by providing a thorough explanation of WEEE recycling and its categorisations to help you organise and declutter your home.
What is WEEE recycling?
WEEE stands for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive, and is fast becoming one of the most important recycling initiatives and one of the fastest growing waste streams in the EU. For example, in 2005 roughly nine million tonnes of waste electrical equipment was generated and disposed of in Europe alone. However, in 2014 this figure had already grown to sixteen million tonnes – the highest of any continent in the world. With the global e-waste figure in 2014 being 42 million tonnes, it’s harrowing to think that Europe alone is managing to contribute nearly half of that.
The rapid growth of electrical waste seems largely due to a) rapid technological advancement, such as smart home gadgets, and b) the technological trends or upgrades that we are drip-fed each year. As a result of these two things, phones, computers, washing machines and the like quickly become obsolete and are subsequently discarded, meaning that electrical waste is continually on the rise.
What electrical equipment does WEEE cover?
WEEE covers a wide array of electrical objects, most of which can be defined as plug operated or battery-run electrical items. Here are some of the main categories that WEEE can be broken into:
- Various electrical medical equipment
- Large household appliances such as cookers, microwaves, washing machines and dishwashers
- Display equipment such as televisions, portable DVD players and smaller monitors
- Smaller household appliances such as vacuum cleaners, irons, toasters and clocks.
- Consumer or leisure electrical equipment. This can include anything from keyboards and radios, to cameras and remote control cars
- Monitoring equipment such as thermostats and smoke detectors
- Cooling equipment such as fridges and freezers
- IT and telecommunications equipment. This includes all computers such as desktops and laptops, and all telephones from mobiles to landlines.
- Automatic dispensers covers domestic and commercial objects. For example, coffee machines and cash machines will both fall under this category.
Why is WEEE recycling important?
One of the key reasons why WEEE recycling is so important, is because electrical waste can become harmful to us and our environment. For example, up to 60 elements from the periodic table can be found in WEEE, many of which are toxic. What’s more, when electrical waste is dumped into landfill, these chemicals can decay and leak toxins into our water systems and, in turn, end up in our food.
So, WEEE isn’t just cluttering our homes or filling up increasingly valuable space in our landfill sites, it’s also doing each and everyone of us harm if we ignore it! This is why it’s absolutely paramount that we take WEEE recycling seriously.
Wilton Waste Recycling are here to help the community consider their waste. Provide a variety of waste management services such as wheelie bins and skip hire across Ireland including Dublin, to ensure that the environment is looked after for a brighter, greener future. We’ve a specialist waste transfer and recycling station in Cavan, ensuring that the amount of waste and scrap metal entering landfill sites is at a minimum. To find out more, including items we don’t accept, simply contact us today and one of our team members will discuss your recycling requirements and needs.