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J&B Recycling Knowledge

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (Weee) Recycling and Disposal

Recycling of Waste Electrical Equipment Recycling (WEEE) regulations came into force in January 2007 with an aim to reduce the amount of this waste going to landfill and improve recovery and recycling rates. Since then, electrical and electronic waste has become the fastest growing waste stream in the UK with around 1 million tonnes are generated every year.

Large households appliances, such as ovens, fridges, washing machines etc. currently make up over 40% of WEEE but there are large volumes of other equipment, such as IT equipment, televisions, small household appliances, electrical tools, digital watches, electronic toys and medical devices. Such items contain a wide variety of materials, for example, an average television contains 6% metal and 50% glass.

As a result of this complex mix of product types and materials, some of which are hazardous (including arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury and certain flame retardants) WEEE recycling poses a number of health risks that need to be adequately managed. For example, exposure to substances released during processing (such as mercury released from fluorescent tubes, lead and phosphorous pentachloride as a result of breaking cathode ray tubes).

It is important to stress that if effective measures are taken to control exposure to mercury and lead then normally the control of exposure to other hazardous substances should also be adequate.

The exact treatment of WEEE can vary enormously according to the category of WEEE and technology that is used. Some treatment facilities utilise large-scale shredding technologies, whilst other use a disassembly process, which can be manual, automated or a combination of both.

Here at J&B Recycling, we can provide a range of collection services for both hazardous and non-hazardous WEEE for recycling in a safe, authorised and environmentally acceptable manner. This can include fridges, computers, monitors and televisions, large and small appliances, bulbs, tubes and lamps and batteries. All of the Waste electrical and electronic equipment (excluding lamps and batteries) we collect, is taken to a reprocessing plant, where they are shredded into small pieces. Once shredded, they are separated into glass, metals, plastics and components.

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