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The Importance of the WEEE Regulations in EU

September 18, 2013

Hello, to introduce myself i am a french student in law environmental and i am on vacation in California where i have had some contact with companies and associations specialized in the electronics recycling.

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In this post, I’m going to talk about the WEEE Directive. Whatever been a bottle, a mobile home or a printer cartridge they all need to be collected and recycled. The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive) set collection, recycling and recovery targets for all type of electrical goods. Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment are a category of device, consisting of equipment at end-of-life. The symbol adopted by the European Council to represent waste electrical and electronic equipment comprised a crossed out wheelie bin with or without a single black line underneath the symbol. The black line indicates that goods have been placed on the market after 2005, when the Directive came into force. Goods without the black line were manufactured between 2002 and 2005. In such instances, these are treated as “historic weee” and falls outside re-imbursement via producer compliance schemes. But what kind of measure has been taken?

The WEE Directive imposes the responsibility for the disposal of e-waste on the manufacturers or distributors of such equipment. Indeed these firms have some facilities to establish an IT asset recovery like anyone. And that is the beginning of electronics recycling. If all the distributors establish a program of device return, all the process of recycling is improved.  And I mean the e-waste recycling but we can talk about the IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) too. The ITAD is important as well the e-waste recycling is. More specifically, value can be recovered in the ITAD process through the reuse, resale, or recycling of IT equipment. Is the WEEE Directive is effective on distributors?

Well we have some sentence against company who try to make some e-waste export but not really against the company who doesn’t respect the terms of the WEEE Directive about e-waste asset recovery even if sanctions exist.  But it seems that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency take seriously this issue.

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