Frequently asked questions

WEEE

What is WEEE?

WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) is the industry term for electrical waste, named after the EU Directive which covers its disposal. Electrical waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world.

Electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) is anything with a battery or a plug on it. Fluorescent tubes and low energy light bulbs are also classified as EEE by the regulations. Old-style filament light bulbs are not covered by the regulations. When electrical goods (EEE) become waste, they are considered ‘WEEE’.

What is the WEEE Directive?

The WEEE Directive was brought in to reduce increasing amounts of electrical waste (WEEE) going to landfill. The Directive requires electronic goods producers to pay for recycling this equipment when it becomes waste.

Who pays for WEEE recycling?

Producers (manufacturers and importers) of electronic and electrical goods have to join an authorised ‘producer compliance scheme’, also known as a WEEE compliance scheme. The producer pays its chosen scheme to collect and recycle WEEE on its behalf.

Where can you take WEEE for recycling?

Ask your local authority where to dispose of it locally. All local authorities accept WEEE for free from households, usually at recycling centres. A WEEE compliance scheme will collect the WEEE from the local authority. This service is paid for by EEE producers. In some EU countries, WEEE is also collected by retailers.

What are the standard components of a photovaltic (PV) system?

A PV system has several components, including groups of PV cells called ‘modules’ (also known as ‘panels’); at least one battery; a charge regulator or controller for a stand-alone system; an inverter for a utility-grid-connected system or when alternating current (AC) rather than direct current (DC) is required; wiring; and mounting hardware or a support framework.

Are photovaltics (PVs) subject to the WEEE Directive?

As part of the WEEE Directive, PV module recycling is a legal obligation across Europe. Moreover, the transposition of the WEEE directive into the legislation of member states means that waste PV Module collection and recycling are now subject to producer responsibility.

What do photovaltic (PV) legal obligations mean for your business?
  • PV Producers are defined as and include: manufacturers, distributors, resellers, importers and Internet or distance sellers of PV modules.
  • As a PV producer you are now legally responsible for financing and securing the collection and recycling of waste PV panels sold in EU Member States.
  • This also applies also to other devices that are part of PV plants/installations, such as inverters and energy storage devices (e.g. batteries and industrial accumulators).

Batteries

What is the EU Batteries Directive?

The EU Batteries Directive compels battery producers to pay for the collection and recycling of spent batteries. The UK Implemented this Directive through the Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations.

What is a battery compliance scheme?

Producers must use a battery compliance scheme like ERP UK to manage recycling on their behalf. All schemes are registered with the Environment Agency.

What does “Battery Producer” refer to?

The definition of a battery producer extends beyond battery manufacturers. Any company which manufactures or imports batteries or products which contain batteries into the UK is considered a producer. Retailers which import their own brand batteries or batteries within products are also classified as producers.

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