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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.