WEEE and the Regulations
WEEE is any type of waste appliance with a plug or battery. Larger household items include washing machines, ovens, televisions and computers. Smaller personal items also fall under WEEE such as cameras, toys, mobile phone and MP3 players.
The European Union (Waste Electrical and Electronic) Regulations 2014 were introduced to promote recovery and recycling of electrical goods and appliances and also the environmentally responsible disposal of these items.
Manufacturers, importers and retailers of Electrical and Electronic Equipment are required by the regulations to fund and encourage the return, collection and recycling of WEEE from businesses and the public.
WEEE and the Consumer
The Regulations impose obligations on retailers of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (including internet sellers).
Registered retailers must promote and arrange for the free take back and recycling of WEEE on a like for like basis. Therefore a customer purchasing a kettle can bring their old kettle to the retailer for recycling. A retailer is not obliged to accept a washing machine if a customer has purchased a toaster.
For household items that require delivery, retailers must collect the old appliance free of charge and give at least 24 hours notice of delivery. Items such as fridges must be properly defrosted and disconnected by the customer prior to collection.
Members of the public can dispose of their household WEEE free of charge at Portlaoise Recycling Centre, Kyletalesha and also Portarlington Recycling Centre. Please note that commercial WEEE is not accepted at those facilities. Commercial WEEE comprises items used primarily by businesses and are not used in private households. A paragraph in a footnote on WEEE Ireland’s website provides common examples of such commercial WEEE and suggests disposal alternatives: ‘large (bigger than desktop) printers and scanners, industrial dishwashers, autoclaves, incubators, servers, commercial fridges/freezers, cash registers, vending machines etc. To correctly dispose of [this type of] WEEE, please contact your supplier or licensed waste contractor such as KMK Metals or Wisetek.’
Obligations on Retailers
All retailers selling electrical and electronic equipment must register with either:
- their local authority, €200/application/year laois-weee-battery-application-form , or an approved registration body such as WEEE Ireland http://www.weeeireland.ie/ or European Recycling Platform (ERP) http://www.erp-recycling.ie/.
Sellers of electrical and electronic equipment to the public are also legally obliged to comply with various other requirements under the WEEE Regulations, including:
- Display statutory WEEE signage in the shop & these must be displayed at each point of sale
- Provide information explaining WEEE take-back procedures and deadlines to the public
- Provide a suitable storage area for returned WEEE
Laois County Council, Environment Section Tel: (057)-8664000
Information for the Consumer – WEEE, the Environment and the Consumer
EPA webpage for Retailer/Distributor Information
Note: This page is a guide only. It does not purport to provide, and should not be relied upon as, a legal interpretation of the Regulations. Laois County Council advises you to read the Regulations in full.