Importance of WEEE Recycling | Commercial Recycling News

Why is WEEE recycling important?

Did you know that WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) is always classed as hazardous waste? This is because electrical and electronic items can contain built in batteries, ozone-depleting substances and other materials which can cause harm to people and the environment around it when not disposed of correctly.

As technology is advancing, products are becoming obsolete quicker than ever, creating large amounts of this waste type around the globe. And with it being hazardous waste, it needs to be disposed of in a certain way.

What is WEEE?

WEEE stands for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment. It refers to anything with a plug, cable or battery.

This type of waste is often hazardous because of the materials that they contain. Electronic waste usually includes heavy metals like lead and mercury which can be incredibly harmful to the environment if not handled properly.

What is WEEE recycling?

While Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment refers to the general disposal of electronic equipment, WEEE recycling refers to specific disposal of waste for recycling. This means that the products will be stripped into their pieces and each piece will be recycled or reused in other products.

So how do you tell if a product should be recycled?

If an electronic or electrical item should be recycled, and can’t be put in a general waste bin, it will have a symbol showing a wheelie bin with a cross through it. This symbol signifies that it can not go into your general waste bin and should be disposed of separately.

Why is WEEE recycling important?

WEEE recycling is a legal requirement and no electrical waste should go to landfill.

Our electrical and electronic waste often contains precious metals that can be recovered and then be reused in other items. In doing this we are saving precious natural resources and play a part in reducing the use of climate changing emissions.

It is also important to recycle items with batteries because they are the biggest cause of waste fires in the UK. The Environmental Services Association found lithium-ion batteries were responsible for around 48% (around 200) of all waste fires occurring in the UK each year*.

Often these fires are caused from hidden batteries in the electronic products. So, you will need to consider this when throwing away anything that contains a battery, whether that is a small household calculator, a tablet, laptop or even a phone. These products should not be put in a general waste bin and should be separated and taken to a place that will recycle them.

If an electronic or electrical item is fly tipped, or ends up at landfill, it is likely to have other impacts on the environment. Metallic parts and nanoparticles can scrape off and find their way into surrounding bodies of water. Additionally, heavy metals can sink into the ground, contaminating underground water, and will move to contaminate other pools of water.

Toxins getting into our water supply and environment will ultimately get into our food chain, which will eventually end up in us.

Commercial Recycling are able to provide separate containers for you to store any electrical or electronic waste, should you need to store it for a period of time before disposing of it. We are also able to collect your WEEE waste directly from you and take it to our recycling centre.

What is the benefit of WEEE recycling?

As more and more people recycle their electrical and electronic equipment, fewer precious resources are being sent to landfill, meaning less carbon emissions are being released.

WEEE recycling also means there is less mining for these precious resources, so animal habitats are being left alone, and humans aren’t subjecting themselves to dangerous jobs to keep up with demand.

How to dispose of WEEE

European regulations mean that if you sell, or produce electrical goods, you must offer to collect or accept the product back to recycle.

If you have a number of electrical or electronic items to dispose of, you can take them to a recycling centre that accepts WEEE waste. At Commercial Recycling, we accept most WEEE waste and have designated bays for different products. We offer per item and bulk disposal at both of our sites.

Items we accept include:

  • Computer
  • TVs
  • Fridges/freezers/White goods
  • Car batteries
  • Fluorescent tubes

We can also provide separate containers for the collection of WEEE waste and we can collect these from your site and take them to our recycling centres.

If you are interested in finding out more about how we can help with WEEE recycling, give us a call on 01202 579579, or email us at with any of your questions.


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