Treating and recycling WEEE on our licenced AATF site
The amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment (widely known as WEEE or e-waste) generated every year in the EU is increasing rapidly. It is now one of the fastest growing waste streams.
EU rules on WEEE aim to contribute to sustainable production and consumption. They address environmental and other issues caused by the growing number of discarded electronics in the EU.
Large household appliances currently make up over 40% of WEEE but there are large volumes of other equipment such as IT equipment (mainly computers), TVs (over two million discarded each year), small household appliances (e.g. kettles and hair dryers), electrical tools, digital watches, electronic toys and medical devices.
Such items contain a wide variety of materials e.g. an average TV contains 6% metal and 50% glass, whereas a cooker is 89% metal and only 6% glass. Other materials found include plastics, ceramics and precious metals.
As a result of this complex mix of product types and materials, some of which are hazardous (including arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury and certain flame retardants) WEEE recycling must be professionally managed.
In addition, modern electronics contain rare and expensive resources, which can be recycled and re-used if the waste is effectively managed.
Improving the collection, treatment and recycling of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) at the end of their life can:
improve sustainable production and consumption
increase resource efficiency
contribute to the circular economy
Requirements for treating and recycling WEEE;
must have a waste management licence, a pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit or an exemption.
must be an authorised treatment facility (ATF) or approved authorised treatment facility (AATF)
must treat WEEE according to the guidance on best available treatment, recovery and recycling techniques.
At Environmental Concern Ltd, we have treatment facilities which utilise large-scale shredding technologies, whilst other use a disassembly process, which can be manual, automated or a combination of both. All recycling process take place on site by our skilled team.
Under the WEEE Directive we will aim to reuse equipment wherever possible. Equipment that cannot be remarketed is stripped for metals, plastics etc and segregated for recycling and reuse in recycled products.
Once on site, WEEE waste is segregated into non-hazardous and hazardous WEEE as well as data baring and non-data baring. Data baring equipment is processed accordingly and all hard drives are data erased and/or destroyed as appropriate.