* *
* Managing the business
"...a scientific study of electronic consumer goods showed that such products consumed energy even when not in use because of the featured standby mode."
(Holdway and Walker, 2004)


Managing the business impact

Detailed, straightforward information for producers and retailers of electrical and electronic equipment regarding compliance with Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive and Restriction on the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive.

labels found on computers and monitors
Just some of the many labels found on computers and monitors which indicated to investigators where each load of computers originated.
© Basel Action Network, December 2001.

What are the implications of the new regulations?
The WEEE Directive requires producers, distributors and resellers of electrical and electronic equipment to assist in the recovery and recycling of all end–of–life products, and to remove certain hazardous substances prior to landfill. The RoHS Directive bans the use of certain hazardous substances, including lead in solder, from 2006.

Although these pieces of legislation will contribute to a better environment they will have significant implications for companies in terms of potential costs on the business, from the procurement of new RoHS compliant product through to end of life management of legacy equipment.

Producers’ responsibilities
* to ensure that correct markings are on electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) from early 2006
* to provide component information to refurbishers and automatic treatment facilities
* to demonstrate what finance provisions have been made for post–January 2006 (unless the producer is in a compliance scheme).
Consumer WEEE
* Report sales data, probably by weight, to National Clearing House (or environment agencies if NCH is not ready) if directly registering or Compliance scheme using a standard form
* Finance the costs of collection from Designated Collection Facilities (CA sites, retailer sites etc), treatment (to set standards), recovery (to set targets) and environmentally sound disposal of WEEE allocated to them by the NCH (directly or through a compliance scheme)
* Report evidence of achieving compliance with above.
Business WEEE
* Report sales data, probably by weight, to National Clearing House (or environment agencies if NCH is not ready) if directly registering or Compliance scheme using a standard form
* For equipment supplied to businesses January 2006, producers will be required to finance collection, treatment etc unless they make alternative arrangements with the user
* For equipment supplied before January 2006, producers have a responsibility to finance equipment removed on a like for like basis, but the business is responsible for costs otherwise.
Data Collection/Reporting
* The WEEE regulator will require producers to list the numbers and weights of their products, by WEEE category, for the preceding calendar year. This data will determine the tonnage of WEEE that needs to be recovered and recycled.
* To produce evidence to show that the required tonnage of WEEE has been recovered and recycled, along with a breakdown of weight of recyclate produced.
* To ensure they have the information from their suppliers (OEMs) to allow the producer to discharge responsibilities, for example for materials that require separation and treatment.
* To provide information on hazardous substances to the Authorised Treatment Facility if requested (new products put on the market after 13 August 2005). If producers send WEEE for treatment or recycling, they are required to report on the amount sent and targets met.
Retailers' responsibilities
* From January 2006 all retailers that sell electrical or electronic equipment are required to offer in-store take–back of WEEE on a like–for–like basis or join a retailer compliance scheme. Like–for–like is equipment that performs the same function – e.g. a cassette player when buying an iPod.
* Distance sellers – e.g. via the internet – will have the same responsibilities as shop-based retailers.
* Retailer compliance schemes will have to provide £10m towards the development of existing local authority sites and new collection facilities to ensure the public can dispose of WEEE free of charge.
* Schemes will have to demonstrate how they will provide the funds and how they will increase collection facilities.
* Retailers must provide information to consumers on how to dispose of WEEE.
When supplying a new product, distributors and retailers are responsible for ensuring that WEEE can be returned to the distributor free of charge on a like–for–like basis, as long as the equipment is of equivalent type and has fulfilled the same functions as the supplied product.
Guidance for consumers
Retailers must inform consumers about their role to ensure WEEE is recovered and treated correctly. Instruction manuals should cover:
* the requirement not to dispose of WEEE as unsorted municipal waste and to collect and dispose of WEEE separately
* the return and collection systems available to them
* their role in the reuse, recycling and recovery of WEEE
* the potential effects on the environment and human health as a result of the presence of hazardous substances in EEE
* the meaning of the crossed-out wheeled bin.
Business users' responsibilities
* All separately collected WEEE must be treated and meet recycling and recovery targets (unless reused)
* Businesses can get suppliers of new equipment to take away old equipment on a one-for-one basis free of charge
* Businesses are required to produce evidence of the amount of WEEE it has sent for treatment and that it has met the targets.
Compliance schemes' responsibilities
* Compliance schemes will be legally liable and will have to gain approval through the Secretary of State
* For producers, schemes will have to manage the data and manage collection, treatment and recovery.
* For retailers, schemes will have to demonstrate how they will support Local Authority CA site development and the expansion or provision of additional 'bring' sites, and show how they will provide information to householders on their membership, collection facilities, etc.


The WEEE Directive
Take a more detailed look at the WEEE and RoHS directives.



For more help, contact
Giraffe Innovation www.giraffeinnovation.com

The WEEE Directive
Download pdf

RoHS Directive
Download pdf

BIS - WEEE directve web pages

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Industry Council for Electronic Equipment Recycling (ICER)


canon case study
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