What is WEEE?
Many everyday consumer items contain electrical or electronic parts. Any appliance or equipment that runs on electricity or batteries has the potential to cause damage to the environment if it is not disposed of in a responsible way. Dealing with the waste this sector produces is becoming increasingly difficult because the lifespan of electronic goods is becoming shorter and the amount of broken or obsolete equipment that is being thrown away is increasing.
Common items of electrical and electronic waste are:
- Large household appliances (refrigerators/freezers, washing machines, dishwashers)
- Small household appliances (toasters, coffee makers, irons, hairdryers)
- Information technology (IT) and telecommunications equipment (personal computers, telephones, mobile phones, laptops, printers, scanners, photocopiers)
- Consumer equipment (televisions, stereo equipment, electric toothbrushes, transistor radios)
- Lighting equipment (fluorescent lamps)
- Electrical and electronic tools (handheld drills, saws, screwdrivers)
- Toys (Playstation, etc.,)
- Medical equipment systems (with the exception of all implanted and infected products)
- Monitoring and control instruments
- Automatic dispensers.
Visit http://www.weeeireland.ie/ for further Information on WEEE
What is the law in relation to WEEE?
The WEEE Directive is an EU Directive founded on the principle of "Producer Responsibility" and its general objectives are:
- To prevent waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)
- To promote the reuse, recycling and recovery of such wastes.
- To improve the environmental performance of all operators involved in the life cycle of electrical and electronic equipment, e.g. producers, distributors and consumers and in particular those operators directly involved in the treatment of waste electrical and electronic equipment.
All producers of electrical and electronic equipment finance the recovery and recycling of waste electrical and electronic household equipment.
In addition to this, the European Communities (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Regulations 2011 sets out specific responsibilities in relation to WEEE for:
- End users of WEEE
- Local Authorities
- Producers (Manufacturers/importers)
- Waste collectors
- Waste facilities
Visit www.irishstatutebook.ie for further information on the legislation regarding WEEE.
How do I dispose of electrical or electronic items (WEEE)?
End users of WEEE are required to ensure they only dispose of WEEE for recycling to an authorised waste facility (permitted by the Local Authority or Licensed by the EPA, Local Authority Civic Amenity Facility or to retailers on behalf of a compliance scheme.
You may also have your WEEE collected by a permitted waste collector.
Visit http://www.nwcpo.ie/ for a list of collectors permitted to transport WEEE.
WEEE must not be placed in household bins or skips due to the hazardous nature of such items.
Where can I bring WEEE for recycling?
If you have purchased a new electrical or electronic appliance or piece of equipment the retailer or supplier is required to take back you old appliance or equipment similar to the appliance or equipment you purchased, free of charge on a one-for-one, like-for-like basis.
For more information see the WEEE, the Environment and the consumer brochure.
Local Authorities are also required to take back household (only) WEEE free of charge from members of the public at its Civic Amenity Facility. This service is for householders use only. For further information on Galway City Council's Civic Amenity Site at Liosbán Industrial Estate.
If you are a business and wish to dispose of WEEE items, you must make your own arrangements with a private waste collector or waste facility . Local Authorities are not required to accept Business to Business (B2B) WEEE. Note that business should only use private permitted/licensed facilities to dispose of electrical or electronic waste.
The following links may be of interest for this purpose:
- Rehab Recycle
- Barna Waste
- City Bin
- WEEE Ireland
- Rehab Recycle
What obligations do I have if I sell electrical and/or electronic equipment (EEE)?
Retailers of electrical or electronic equipment (EEE) must ensure that:
- their EEE suppliers are registered with the WEEE Register Society Ltd. Otherwise the producer responsibility defaults to the retailer.
- they register with their local authority or compliance scheme. WEEE Ireland is the compliance scheme for Galway City. Visit http://www.weeeireland.ie to access the WEEE Ireland Online Retailer Registration web page or http://www.environ.ie to download the registration form to register with your Local Authority.
- they display take-back notices. View examples of take back notices.
- they take back household WEEE on a one-for-one, like-for like basis free of charge.
- they dispose of WEEE to a Local Authority Recycling Centre, WEEE compliance scheme or permitted/licensed facility. Visit the Recycling Centre page for further information on Galway City Council's recycling centre.
What obligations do I have if I manufacture or import electrical and/or electronic equipment (EEE)?
Producers (manufactures/importers) are required to be registered with the WEEE Register Society Ltd and to show the WEEE register number on all documentation.
Who can I contact in Galway City Council regarding WEEE?
Galway City householders only.
If you have any questions in relation to Waste Electrical or Electronic Equipment, please contact:
Galway City Council.
Tel: 091 536400