Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment (WEEE)
What does WEEE mean?
Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is basically any type of appliance or device that requires either electrical or battery power in order to operate, and whose owner wishes to dispose of as waste. In addition to larger household items such as televisions, computers, cookers, fridges and washing machines, it also includes smaller personal items such as cameras, toys, watches, mobile phones and MP3 players.
What are the WEEE Regulations?
Following on from the European Union WEEE Directive, the WEEE Regulations 2005 were introduced to promote the environmentally responsible disposal, recovery and recycling of consumer electrical goods and appliances in Ireland. The Regulations apply to all kinds of Electrical & Electronic Equipment, but contain limited exemptions for certain types of devices, such as some medical or military items.
These regulations require the Producers (manufacturers and importers) and Retailers of Electrical & Electronic Equipment to ensure systems are in place to fund and encourage the return, collection, and recycling of WEEE items from businesses and the general public. One of the main features of the regulations is the free take-back of WEEE for consumers that must be offered by retailers.
How does WEEE return work for Consumers?
All Retailers of Electrical & Electronic Equipment, including internet sellers, are now required by law to provide for take-back of WEEE articles from customers free of charge, subject to the conditions below:
Free take-back only applies when a new item is being purchased.
- A returned item must be of a similar type as the new item being bought. E.g. a retailer is not obliged to accept a television if a customer has only bought a toaster.
Take-back is only offered a one-for-one basis.
Where goods are bought over the counter, retailers must take back the old product in-store within a maximum of 15 days from the date of sale.
- With any 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 de-frosted by the customer before collection.
Retailers must also accept large household items at their premises within a maximum of 30 days from the date of delivery of the new appliance.
In addition, members of the public may now also dispose of all their household WEEE appliances free of charge at the Council’s civic recycling facility at Ballyogan Recycling Park, Ballyogan Road, Dublin 18.
Further information for the public is available in the following guidance document WEEE & The Consumer (pdf -522kb).
Retailers & WEEE
All retailers of Electrical & Electronic Equipment are legally required under the WEEE Regulations to register their retail premises with their respective local authority on an annual basis, or else authorise an approved body such as WEEE Ireland Ltd. to manage their registration obligations.
Retailers who are required to register their premises with Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council on an annual basis can download the relevant application form here: WEEE & Batteries Retailer Reg Form (pdf -934kb).
Completed forms should be returned to the Water & Waste Services Dept., together with the prescribed fee of €20 per application.
All retailers selling Electrical & Electronic Equipment to the public are also legally obliged to comply with various other requirements under the WEEE Regulations, including measures relating to:
Display of statutory WEEE signage in store, that must be displayed at each point of sale;
Provision of information explaining WEEE take-back procedures and deadlines to the public;
- Provision of a suitable storage area for any returned WEEE items.
Detailed advice for retailers of EEE and batteries can be found in the following EPA guidance document Information for Retailers of EEE & Batteries (pdf -625kb).
Further information on the WEEE Regulations can also be found on the EPA web-site.
Registered retailers may dispose of returned WEEE items at the Council’s civic recycling facility at Ballyogan Recycling Park, Ballyogan Road, Dublin 18. This service is available free of charge, subject to prior arrangement with the operators of the facility, Oxigen, who should be contacted directly at (01) 291 3600.
Alternatively, a free collection service from retailers’ premises of WEEE items and waste batteries is provided by WEEE Ireland Ltd., who can be contacted directly at ph. (01) 299 9320.