Who do the Regulations affect?
WEEE Treatment Facilities
Collectors of WEEE
A Producer is defined as:
Any person who, irrespective of the selling technique used, including by means of distance communication (i.e. internet sales):
a) manufactures and sells EEE under his own brand;
b) resells under his own brand EEE produced by other suppliers (and the brand of the supplier does not appear on the equipment); or
c) imports or exports EEE on a professional basis into a member state.
Here “sell” means placing on the UK market for the first time.
This definition therefore covers EEE supplied whether at a cost or free of charge and those producers selling direct to end users through the internet as well as those selling their own branded EEE through distributors.
A Distributor is defined as:
Any person who provides EEE on a commercial basis to a party who is going to use it, including hired and leased EEE. This includes wholesalers, retailers and distance sellers (e.g. internet retailers, mail order and telesales businesses) and producers who sell products direct to consumers of EEE.
Distributors have obligations to facilitate householders’ ‘take back’ of their WEEE. The Regulations give distributors a choice of complying, either by providing in-store take-back services or via the Distributor Take-back Scheme (DTS). The DTS assists in funding the establishment of the UK Designated Collection Facility (DCF) network.
Local authorities do not have any obligations under the Regulations other than as end-users of non-household EEE.
Local authorities can register their household waste recycling centres as DCFs. In return for registering as a DCF, local authorities receive funding from the DTS and, in return, must comply with the Code of Practice which forms part of the WEEE Regulations. This requires an arrangement to be made with a compliance scheme, such as REPIC, to collect and treat the household WEEE that is deposited at the local authority’s DCF sites.
Any organisation that wishes to treat WEEE must be an Approved Treatment Facility (ATF) and have the appropriate waste management licences. They must comply with the Guidance on Best Available Treatment, Recovery and Recycling Techniques (BATRRT) and Treatment of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment published by Defra and devolved administrations.
Only Approved Authorised Treatment Facilities (AATFs) or Approved Exporters (AEs) can issue WEEE evidence to compliance schemes. To become an AATF or AE, an ATF must seek and be granted approval by the environment agencies and are subject to annual audits and inspections under Environment Agency conditions.
Other WEEE Collectors
If you are a business and an end-user of non-household EEE, and you choose to dispose of this yourself at the end of its life, the WEEE Regulations require that you arrange for the treatment, recycling and recovery of this WEEE in line with the requirements of the Regulations.