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What to do with Waste Electronics

What to do with Waste Electronics
Why WEEE? In the UK we throw out 1m tonnes of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) a year. New WEEE regulations covering how we should dispose of this waste - our old TVs, fridges, computers and the like - came into effect from 1st July 2007. It's one of Europe's fastest growing types of waste so whenever you're thinking about throwing away anything electrical - stop and think; can it be recycled?

Whether you're replacing a broken toaster, upgrading your computer or getting a bigger fridge, chances are you'll want to get rid of the old kit to make way for the new. In general, that means throwing things away.

Most of us have an idea of how to recycle other household waste - such as bottles, plastic, garden waste and food. But what about WEEE?

Watch a video about how TV's are recycled

Retailers and manufacturers take responsibility for WEEE

New regulations governing the proper disposal of WEEE make it the duty of all electrical goods makers and retailers to pay for collecting and recycling WEEE. In other words, they are bound by law to make it possible for their customers to dispose of their waste equipment free of charge.

Retailers selling electrical goods must provide their customers with a clear explanation of how they can return their WEEE - whether the old equipment was bought from them or not. Every retailer must either offer to take back the old kit in-store, or be part of the Distributor Take back Scheme and tell you where you can recycle it. This scheme supports recycling drop off areas where you can dispose of WEEE quickly and for free. Some retailers even offer a service to pick up your old bulky appliances from your home, so remember to ask when you buy.

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