In January 2007, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive was introduced into the UK law by the Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment Regulations 2006. The main aim of this directive is to encourage people to reuse and recycle IT equipment. This, in turn, reduces the total electrical and electronic waste being produced. This law allows recyclers to help prolong the life of electrical equipment instead of simply throwing it away and causing harm to the environment. Every year in the UK, the general public disposes of over 1.2 million tonnes of electrical waste. Our overall aim is to reduce this figure.
WEEE is the fastest growing waste stream in the UK. In order to transport and recycle WEEE waste legally, you must be licensed by the Environment Agency. All companies that offer the service we provide must hold a Waste Carriers License and an environmental permit or exemption. All WEEE waste that gets collected should be recycled in accordance with the guidance on Best Available Treatment, Recovery and Recycling Techniques (BATRRT) and treatment of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). This ensures that everything is done with the optimum efficiency and everything possible has been done to prolong the life of the equipment.
When collecting and recycling any WEEE waste, it must be accompanied by a Waste Transfer Note stating how many items of each variety have been collected and a rough weight. If in case, items with glass displays or acid lead batteries are present, a Hazardous Waste Consignment Note must be provided with the correct EWC Codes. In association with the Hazardous Waste Consignment Note.
Ecogreen IT Recycling currently holds a T11 exemption permit which allows us to recycle and refurbish any IT Equipment (hazardous or non-hazardous). We are regularly visited by the Environment Agency to ensure everything is up to the mark with everything in place.
When a collection has been conducted, you must keep copies of all the WTNs provided by our collection driver for at least two years (three years for Hazardous Waste Consignment Notes). If asked by the local environment or the Environment Agency, you must be able to present these notes as proof that you disposed of your waste legally and efficiently.
As a growing recycling company, we try to do our best for the environment. These things include:
The waste hierarchy is put in place to rank the waste management options according to what is best for the environment. This is done in 5 stages. The first priority is to prevent any waste from being created in the first place. But if it is produced, it is given priority to be prepared for reuse and refurbishment, then recycling, then recovery of valued goods such as parts, and last of all disposal (taking it to a landfill).
If you are an organisation disposing of WEEE, you must take all measures to the highest level in order to apply the waste hierarchy in order to prevent waste. If you are transferring waste to another organisation, you must insist they use the hierarchy as well to ensure that the equipment is recycled to its maximum potential. A lot of equipment that gets recycled can be reused because most of the time they are just thrown away due to upgrade or minor faults which can be fixed with experience.
The first question that comes to mind when a collection has occurred and been transferred back to our unit is “can this be reused?” We try our hardest to get old and new, broken or unused equipment back to a refurbished state so that they can be used by a new owner. We are proud to say that we refurbish up to 70% of recycled goods to a reusable state. These goods include, but are not limited to, computer bases, monitors, projectors and printers.
The next step in the process is transporting anything that is classified as unusable in a secure vehicle to an Approved Authorised Treatment Facilities (AATF) where it is broken down to the main components and recycled. This means breaking down a computer into the plastic, metal, wiring and other components.
If the products cannot be recycled, then they are broken down into valuable and reusable parts, this is usually when the product is split into plastics, metals and replaceable parts on other products (especially non-hazardous mixed plastic).
Once all the procedures have been fulfilled, there rarely is anything that gets taken to a landfill because there is typically a use to all the products as they can be used in other machines, items or used in the creation of brand new products.