What are the WEEE Regulations?
The WEEE Regulations 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 has been purchased and on a one-for-one basis.
- 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.
- 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 and disconnected by the customer before collection.
Retailers & WEEE
Retailers of Electrical & Electronic Equipment are legally required under the WEEE Regulations to either register their retail premises through an approved body such as WEEE Ireland Ltd. free of charge, or else register with their respective local authority on an annual basis.
Retailers who opt to register their premises with DLR County Council must complete the WEEE & Batteries Retailer Registration Form and return it to the Infrastructure & Climate Change Dept., together with the prescribed fee of €200 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 the:
- 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.
Further information on the WEEE Regulations is also available at the EPA website.