News

WEEE Directive

10 May, 2014

The Directive, which came into full effect on July 1st 2007, has already been implemented across most EU countries and is aimed at diverting recyclable electronic waste away from landfill.

By placing the legal obligation on the waste producer to ensure that redundant electronic waste is re-used or recycled wherever possible, the Government is hoping to force both businesses and consumers to examine the amount of waste they produce and embrace waste minimisation and recycling programmes.

Under this broad legislation, items as diverse as mainframe computers, toasters and electrical staplers have to be separated from normal waste and marked for recycling or reuse.

For further information on the WEEE Directive please visit:
www.environment-agency.gov.uk

David Cameron accused of recycling health and safety myths

02 May, 2014

David Cameron was accused yesterday of retelling myths about health and safety legislation after claiming that Labour had allowed a blanket of fear to spread across the country.

In a speech aimed squarely at the Conservative grassroots, Mr Cameron said that while there was often a “noble” intention behind rules, Labour had an over-the-top culture of health and safety.

The Tory leader appointed Margaret Thatchers former Trade Secretary, Lord Young of Graffham, to conduct a review of the Health and Safety Executive. The peer has called on ministers to enlighten or abolish much of the health and safety legislation.

Mr Cameron said: “Something has gone seriously wrong with the spirit of health and safety in the past decade. When children are made to wear goggles by their head teacher to play conkers. When trainee hairdressers are not allowed scissors in the classroom. When office workers are banned from moving a chair without supervision. When staff at a railway station don’t help a young mum carry her baby buggy because they are not insured. When village fetes are cancelled because residents can’t face jumping through all the bureaucratic hoops.

What began as a noble intention to protect people from harm has mutated into a stultifying blanket of bureaucracy, suspicion and fear covering the actions of millions of individuals as they go about their daily lives.

The body representing health and safety professionals said that Mr Cameron was in danger of muddling myths, generalisations and fact.

Ruth Doyle, of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, denied that legislation was the problem. She blamed widespread misunderstanding of the rules.

She said: David Cameron is retelling some of the myths in order to highlight the issue. The politicians should query them if we are to tackle the issue.

There had been only one case, five years ago, of a teacher at a primary school asking children to wear goggles while playing conkers, she claimed.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said that the Health and Safety Executive wanted to help to ensure that businesses could comply with regulations in a way that was sensible and proportionate.

Health and safety is not just about rules and regulations, it is about the reduction of accidents and injuries in the workplace, he said.

Original Article: The Times

Dell plans Indian e-waste plant to tackle tech dumping

18 April, 2014

Dell is setting up a pilot recycling plant in India in an attempt to tackle the problems caused by dumped technology in developing countries.

The company says technology waste will always make its way to developing countries because valuable materials such as copper are contained in old PCs, despite government efforts to legislate against it.

Toxic substances such as PVC and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) cause big environmental and health problems for the people who remove valuable materials by burning parts of computers.
Dell said providing ways to extract these materials safely is a better answer than trying to stop people extracting them at all.
Mark Newton, Dell’s lead environmental strategist, said, ” Regulation is not going to solve the problem. Legislation is not going to be imposed in informal emerging economies. The economics is just too strong. There is an intrinsic value in the materials in electronic waste, and we need to work with that.”

Recycling is a big business in developing countries – while western economies recycle just 10% of their e-waste, developing countries generally recycle 98%.

“People who burn technology waste in the streets do not want to be doing it, but it is the only way they can make a living,” Newton said. The answer, he said, is to provide an economic incentive to recycle the waste safely. If recyclers use methods that will safely extract more valuable materials per tonne of waste than workers would by burning it on the street, they would be able to pay people to bring technology waste to its plant, giving them a better method of earning money.

The pilot plan is currently only at the “conceptual stage”, but more activity and information can be expected in 2010. Other technology companies in the mobile market are planning similar pilots.

Most charities and recycling experts lay the blame – and the responsibility – for the global e-waste problem at the doors of big profitable IT companies such as Dell. Newton agreed that the responsibility for end-of-life technology lies with the technology producer, and added it may be easier to get IT companies to invest in recycling plants than some might predict.

“Investment would not be purely altruistic. It is a way to manage costs, and is much cheaper to the IT industry than to have to pull this equipment out before it even enters these countries.” And many emerging economies don’t even have basic waste management plants – if IT companies wait around until these start being built, the level of investment expected of them will be much higher than if they invest now in technology waste plants.

Recycling e-waste: Who should pay?

07 April, 2014

A recent study by Pike Research has found that over 76 percent of consumers see recycling as the key to reducing the world’s e-waste.

However, 37 percent of consumers also think that recycling their e-waste should be a free service, according to “Electronics Recycling and E-Waste Issues,” a study released Thursday.

That’s not to say consumers necessarily believe electronics manufacturers should be the ones picking up the tab. Only 10 percent of those surveyed saw recycling as a “producer responsibility,” and only 14 percent thought the cost of free e-waste recycling should be built-in as part of product purchase price.

The independent survey was conducted by the research firm as a Web-based questionnaire on a “demographically balanced” sampling of 1,000 Americans.

The study results are a bit surprising because many companies offer rebates on new items in exchange for recycled goods, implying that there is already an e-waste recycle tax built into the price of products. There are also many company-sponsored recycling programs. If you go by the statistics in their sustainability reports, the biggest producers and sellers of electronics also do recycle a relatively large amount of consumer e-waste.

Some consumers might also be a bit lazy when it comes to recycling their old tech junk. The average consumer had “2.8 pieces of unused, broken, or obsolete electronics equipment in their home or storage area,” according to Pike Research.

Thirty-five percent also thought there should be a convenient service wherein e-waste recycling is picked up at their curb, like they have for other trash.

But not to worry, Pike Research released a report in May that concluded that e-waste build-up will plateau by 2015.

Digital switchover to be WEEE nightmare

07 April, 2011

Several residents of the rural area of south Shropshire have gained national support after criticising a government plan to shut down analogue radio signals.

Peter Phillips, Liberal Democrat councillor for Bishops Castle, has gained Local Government Association backing in a campaign to force the government to think about the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) which could be sent to landfill under the plans.

He told the Ludlow & Tenbury Wells Advertiser: “The proposed switchover will … have significant carbon footprint implications, as DAB radios consume more power than transistor sets. Waste authorities will be affected in having to dispose of analogue radio sets.”

It is thought that WEEE schemes will be put under extra strain to make sure that the required number of old radios incapable of receiving digital signals are recycled in order to meet regulations.

Letsrecycle.com recently reported that a fresh campaign has been started by the Waste and Resources Action Programme in order to get Brits to recycle their small items of WEEE.

WEEE New Legislation

10 September, 2009

New legislation came into force in 2007 to cover waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

The regulations have significant implications those who treat or recover WEEE, and stipulate that users must store, collect, treat, recycle and dispose of WEEE separately from other waste.

It is now a requirement that you obtain and keep proof that your WEEE was given to a waste management company, and was treated and disposed of in an environmentally sound way. You can read the full regulations

Are you Compliant?

10 September, 2009

Any site that produces 500 kilos or more per 12-month period of Hazardous waste MUST be registered as a producer of Hazardous waste. We can register you as a Waste Producer – contact us on 01753 818283 for more details.