Proper waste management & your workplace
Saturday, 03 April 2010 00:00
|Proper waste management at your workplace: Electronic Equipment
Do you dispose of any electrical or electronic equipment at work? If you do, you must comply with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE).
Regulations which apply to electrical and electronic equipment.
Anyone generating, handling or disposing of waste that falls under these ten categories must comply:
- Large household appliances
- Small household appliances
- IT and telecommunications equipment
- Consumer equipment
- Lighting equipment
- Electrical and electronic tools
- Toys, leisure and sports equipment
- Medical devices
- Monitoring and control equipment
- Automatic dispensers
The WEEE regulations aim to reduce waste from electrical and electronic equipment, encourage the separate collection of WEEE and encourage the treatment, reuse, recovery, recycling and sound environmental disposal of WEEE. They also want to make producers of electrical and electronic equipment responsible for the environmental impact of their products and improve the environmental performance of all those involved during the lifecycle of EEE.
Handling and disposing of electrical and electronic equipment at work
When your company decides to upgrade employees' mobile phones or computers, where do the old ones go? You might not know this, but in most cases they can be recycled, even helping some local charities along the way.
Absolute Health and Safety Solutions Ltd can give you more business-specific information on good waste stream management and how you can reduce the amount of electronic waste you generate.
How can you help manage waste?
The one thing that most people agree on is that better waste management of electrical and electronic equipment needs to be done. The concern is how it can be done without impacting productivity or quality in the workplace. One way of helping is to reduce the packaging of electrical and electronic goods before it arrives at your building. You could drive this initiative by having a chat with your suppliers. Another thing you can do is tackle waste reduction at every employee's desk. If you are writing or reviewing your Environmental Impact Register (detailing the waste your organisation creates now and projected waste over the next year), you can discuss the waste problem with all employees.
Ways to tackle waste: Free!
Your business can return WEEE free of charge to the manufacturer of the equipment if it was sold to you new after 13 August 2005. If you purchase new equipment and are not sure if it is compliant then check to see if it has a label showing a crossed-out wheelie bin. See further details here.
If you are replacing WEEE produced before 13 August 2005 with new equivalent EEE, you can return the WEEE free of charge to the manufacturer of your new equipment. If you rent or lease EEE you can also return WEEE free of charge to your equipment supplier. When buying new EEE you should ensure that you obtain and keep the producer registration number. This will allow you to contact the producer when you need to dispose of the products. In these circumstances the producer’s compliance scheme is responsible for the WEEE. The original producer can give you information on the take-back system available to you. If the producer of your EEE refuses to take responsibility for your waste, contact your environmental regulator.
If you are looking for more information on carbon reduction, environmental management systems or electronic waste, we will be happy to assist. There are also companies that may enable you to exchange your environmental waste streams for money.