WEEE Regulations and ROHS Compliance

RoHS
When you have bought any electrical or electronic items, you may have heard WEEE discussed in relation to recycling, but what does it mean to the average recycler?

What does WEEE stand for?

WEEE stands for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment.

So What does WEEE mean?

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations (WEEE), EU Directive 2002/96/EC, were adopted into UK law on 2nd January 2007 with full implementation from 1st July 2007. These regulations require that electrical and electronic equipment, when being disposed of at the end of its useful life in an EU Member State, must be recycled and/or disposed of in accordance with the EU directive as it is applied in local laws of that State. Failing to recycle WEEE has significant affects on the environment and human health.

What items does the WEEE directive apply to?

There are 10 different categories of equipment that WEEE relates to:-

  1. Large household appliances (e.g. fridges and washing machines)
  2. Small household appliances (such as toasters and kettles)
  3. IT and telecommunications equipment (e.g. mobile phones and computers)
  4. Consumer equipment (including radios and TVs)
  5. Lighting equipment
  6. Electrical and electronic tools
  7. Toys, leisure and sports equipment (both battery operated and electrical games are included)
  8. Medical devices
  9. Monitoring and control equipment
  10. Automatic dispensers (Coffee machines, cash machines etc.)
As an ordinary consumer you do not have to worry about complying with WEEE regulations, but you should consider how any used electronic goods you may not require are disposed of. The onus is upon businesses involved in the manufacture, distribution, storage, retailing and disposal of the equipment to be in compliance.

The directive states that consumers will be able to return their equipment free of charge for recycling.

Therefore retailers selling electrical goods must provide their customers with a clear explanation of how they can return their items which must be disposed of within the WEEE regulations - whether the old equipment was bought from them or not.

Why do we need WEEE regulations?

The amount of WEEE we throw away is increasing by around 5% each year, making it the fastest growing waste stream in the UK. Much of the UKs WEEE ends up in landfill, where the lead and other toxins it contains can cause soil and water contamination. This can have a harmful effect on natural habitat, wildlife and also human health.

Many electrical items that we throw away can be repaired or recycled. Recycling items helps to save our natural finite resources and also reduces the environmental and health risks associated with sending electrical goods to landfill. To ensure that your WEEE is recycled in accordance with the regulations, you must ensure that the goods are not put in the bin, but are separately disposed of by taking the WEEE to your local designated collection facility. This would normally be your local Civic Amenity site (recycling centre). You can find out the location of your nearest WEEE-compliant Civic Amenity site by entering your post code at http://www.recycle-more.co.uk

RoHS

Products placed on the market on or after July 1, 2006 may not contain more than the specified limits of below listed restricted substances.

Restricted substances and maximum concentration values tolerated by weight in homogeneous materials (as per Annex II of Directive 2011/65/EU).

Cadmium 0.01%
Lead 0.1%
Mercury 0.1%
Hexavalent Chromium 0.1%
PBB (Polybrominated Biphenyls) 0.1%
PBDE (Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers) 0.1%
Railwayscenics policy is only to designate a product as RoHS compliant when we are confident that the product is fully compliant. We use a simple Yes and No designation on our web site and the meaning of these designations is as follows:

RoHS compliant YES

Based on information provided by our suppliers, this product does NOT contain the substances restricted by the RoHS legislation at levels over the maximum concentration values.

No RoHS designation

Products that are outside the scope of the RoHS legislation and products for which we do not have enough information from our suppliers to confidently confirm their RoHS compliance status have no designation on our web site. Customers that wish to purchase a RoHS compliant version of any product that is not designated as RoHS compliant YES should contact us or check available alternatives on our web site.

REACH

The Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation & restriction of Chemicals (REACH), is a European Union regulation that came into force on the 1st June 2007.

The aim of reach is to provide a high level of protection to human health and the environment from the use of chemicals. This is done by making manufacturers and importers who place these chemicals on the market responsible for understanding and managing the risks associated with their usage.

With regards to these regulations we do not import any substances in pure form and do not import products composed of these substances.