Old mobile phones clogging up your drawer? What about that old TV in the garage? With the current pace that computers and smartphones go out of date, we’ve all got old tech somewhere in our homes. Getting rid of it seems to be more confusing than ever – so what do you need to know before you bin your old electronics?
As whimsical as it sounds, WEEE stands for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment – and there are restrictions on how you can dispose of it.
For a start you can’t just chuck it in the bin. Here’s why.
WEEE can be made of composite materials, plastics, rare metals and advanced synthetics that do not naturally break down in landfill sites. Many appliances contain hazardous materials and liquids, which pose a serious environmental risk – especially at the scales you’d expect in a landfill site.
Batteries are extremely dangerous. Modern batteries with high capacities contain all the energy needed to power devices all day long, and mostly can’t be removed from their host device.
They can explode if improperly handled or crushed, exposed to heat or if they come into contact with chemicals – and these are all scenarios that occur during household waste collection. An old, seemingly dead battery can still cause problems when disposed of improperly.
So even very old, seemingly worthless technology can be harmful when thrown directly in the bin: so please, don’t do it!
There’s plenty of useful stuff inside old electronics to recycle: copper, silicon chips – even gold. That’s why there’s such a big market for old and broken electronics. But getting it out isn’t easy, and doing it properly requires a sophisticated recycling plant.
After collecting and manually sorting electrical waste, we work with specialist partners who fully break down each piece of WEEE – ensuring that every part is used as efficiently as possible.
We’re always reviewing our electronics recycling processes, to guarantee our methods are as efficient and as sustainable as possible. We continue to invest in our goal: achieving 100% recycling rates. Find out more information about our waste management solutions, contact us.