E-Waste in UK and Europe

About 70% of heavy metals, such as lead and mercury, in landfill sites come from e-waste. EC Regulations which came into force on 1 July 2007 in the UK make it a responsibility to take back electrical items at the end of their working life. The cost of collection schemes will be met by manufacturers and may lead to a small increase in the cost of new electrical goods.

E-waste or waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is the term used to describe old, end-of-life or discarded appliances using electricity. Plastics, metals and printed wiring boards (PWBs) make up much of the content of e-waste. The categories that e-waste falls into include smaller electrical items (toasters, vacuum cleaners, irons), IT and telecommunications equipment (mobile phones, PCs) and household consumer items (televisions, radios). In 1998, 39 per cent or 357,000 tonnes of e-waste in the UK was classed as IT equipment. Large household appliances were the other main component of the UK total at 392,000 tonnes (source is ICER Waste Arisings Estimates 2000).

EU Waste Directive
Large Household Appliances
Washing Machines, Dryers, Refrigerators, Air-conditioners etc.
Small Household Appliances
Vacuum Cleaners, Coffee Machines, Irons, Toasters etc.
Office, Information & Communication Equipment
PCs, Latops, Mobiles, Telephones, Fax Machines, Copiers, Printers etc.
Entertainment & Consumer Electronics
Televisions, VCR/DVD/CD Players, Hi-Fi Sets, Radios etc.
Lighting Equipment
Fluorescent Tubes, Sodium Lamps etc. (Except: Bulbs, Halogen Bulbs)
Electric and Electronic Tools
Drills, Electric Saws, Sewing Machines, Lawn Mowers etc. (Except: large stationary tools/machines)
Toys, Leisure, Sports and Recreational Equipment
Electric Train Sets, Coin Slot Machines, Treadmills etc.

Amazon Books
Image of What Is the Impact of E-Waste? (At Issue)
Publisher: Greenhaven Press (2008)
Binding: Paperback, 113 pages