According to the latest figures published last week by the Environment Agency the UK is now more than doubling the small WEEE (Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment) targets that were set by the European Union for the year ending 2011.
The figures that were published showed that through 2011, 31,331 tonnes of small household WEEE were collected. This works out at 8.3kg of WEEE per person, the target states that 4kg must be recycled per head, based on a population of around 62 million. In percentages 34.3% of all electronic equipment that was sold in 2011 was recycled correctly, this compares to 31.5% in 2010, but these amounts are still some way short of the 45% target set by the EU for 2016.
A spokesperson working for the government department responsible for UK WEEE said “The United Kingdom is currently collecting record levels of WEEE and for the first time we have achieved a separate collection rate of household WEEE in excess of 8kg per head.” They added “There is still much work to be done in order to meet the higher target of 45% of WEEE placed on the market by 2016, we are currently working very closely with our partners in order to hit this target.”
Despite the targets being hit on small household WEEE the targets for business and non household WEEE still remains a big problem. There was no improvements on the collection and recycling rates between 2010 – 2011.
Small household WEEE includes the following equipment:
- Kitchen appliances such toasters, kettles, irons, bread makers, drink blenders, coffee machines, vacuum cleaners, electric heaters, fryers and sandwich makers.
- Mobile phones and smartphones
- MP3 players and iPods
- DIY equipment including drills and other small power tools.
- Electronic garden equipment including hedge trimmers, lawnmowers and strimmers.
- Personal care devices including hair dryers, electric toothbrushes, clippers and curlers.
- Games consoles and hand-helds
- Any other battery powered devices including watches and clocks, radios, CD players, Christmas tree lights, printers, calculators, DVD players, video recorders, cameras, telephones, torches, SAT Navs, Tablet computers, sewing machines, battery powered toys and anything else that you can think of…
Most local council recycling / waste disposal sites will accept all of the items above and will recycle them correctly. Any items that cannot be recycled will be disposed of in the correct manner. A full list of all government recycling sites that accept WEEE can be found at Recycle Now.