What does WEEE mean?
Electrical and electronic waste, abbreviated WEEE, is discarded equipment previously powered either from the mains, or by battery or accumulators. The most common examples are: computers, refrigerators, washing machines and dishwashers, electric and microwave ovens, TVs, fixed and mobile phones, small appliances, consumer electronics.
WEEE contains reusable materials which, through correct handling and further processing, can be reintroduced into the production circuit, contributing to the creation of new resources in accordance with the circular economy principles. Some of these thrown away gears also contain pollutants, so the European and national legislation establishes strict separate collection obligations.
Both at an European and on a national level, the principle of extended producer responsibility applies for the management of WEE. Thus, producers are responsible for setting up, coordinating and financing WEEE collection and recycling, in compliance with environmental legislation, along with auxiliary measures to promote WEEE reduction and reuse.
The importance of recycling
Old or out-of-order equipment must be collected and recycled correctly, for the protection of the environment, to mitigate the risk posed to human health by their toxic potential, as well as for the protection of natural resources.
First, electrical or electronic equipment may contain dangerous substances, both for the environment and our health, such as heavy metals, substances that depreciate the ozone layer, or persistent organic pollutants. Among the most common of these are the following: