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WEEE Measurement & reporting considerations. SCOPE To identify the mandatory recycling and recovery targets for each of the ten categories of equipment (see Table 1). To propose a means of measuring, auditing and reporting amounts of recycling and recovery.

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  • To identify the mandatory recycling and recovery targets for each of the ten categories of equipment (see Table 1).
  • To propose a means of measuring, auditing and reporting amounts of recycling and recovery.

The highlighted categories of WEEE in Table 1 have been broken down further to specify the actual items covered by the WEEE Directive. This information is given on the next two slides.


Categories of electrical and electronic equipment covered by this directive

  • IT and Telecommunication equipment –
  • Centralized data processing
  • Mainframes
  • Minicomputers
  • Printer units
  • Personal computing
  • Personal computers (CPU, mouse, screen and keyboard included)
  • Lap-top computers (CPU, mouse, screen and keyboard included)
  • Note-book computers
  • Note-pad computers
  • Printers
  • Copying equipment
  • Electrical and electronic typewriters
  • Pocket and desk calculators
  • User terminals and systems
  • Facsimile
  • Telex
  • Telephones
  • Pay telephones
  • Cordless telephones
  • Cellular telephones
  • Answering systems

Consumer equipment

  • Radio sets
  • Television sets
  • Videocameras
  • Video recorders
  • Hi-fi recorders
  • Audio amplifiers
  • Musical instruments
  • Other

2. The following components of WEEE that are separately collected have to be treated as indicated:

  • Cathode ray tubes – the fluorescent coating has to be removed
  • Equipment containing CFC, HCFC or HFCs – the CFC present in foam and the refrigerating circuit must be properly extracted and destroyed. HCFC or HFCs present in foam and refrigeration circuit must be properly extracted and destroyed or recycled.
  • Gas discharge lamps – the mercury must be removed.

Selective Treatment for Materials and Components of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipement

  • 1. The following substances, preparations and components have to be removed from any separately collected WEEE:
  • PCB containing capacitors
  • Mercury containing components, such as switches
  • Batteries
  • Printed circuit boards
  • Toner cartridges, liquid and pasty, as well as colour
  • Plastic containing brominated flame retardants
  • Asbestos waste
  • Cathode ray tubes
  • CFC, HCFC or HFCs
  • Gas discharge lamps
  • Liquid crystal displays of a greater surface area than 100 square centimetres and all those back-lighted with gas discharge lamps.
  • The above shall be disposed of or recovered in compliance with Article 4 of Council Directive 75/442/EEC.

Extended Producer Responsibility

  • The main aim is to make industry responsible for the environmental effects of its products.
  • Where possible the re-use of WEEE and components is to be implemented. WEEE exported to non EU countries has to be suitable and intended for re- use and not for recycling, recovery or disposal.
  • Producers should finance collection, treatment, recovery and disposal of WEEE.
  • Historical waste is to be shared equally by all producers at the time when the costs arise, in proportion to their respective share of the market by equipment type and volume. Alternatively, member states may make users (other than those from private households) partially or totally responsible.
  • Member states shall ensure that by 30 months after entry into the directive all WEEE is collected separately and rates of collection, re-use, recovery, recycling and export of WEEE are monitored.

Table 2: Definitions of key terms used

¹which means the use of combustible waste as a means of generating energy through direct incineration with or without other waste but with recovery of the heat.



By 31st December 2005, producers must have met the targets set out in Table 1.


The Needs of the Directive

  • The directive requires a register to be produced detailing the quantity of EEE placed onto the UK market, the amount imported and exported.
  • Data required:
  • name and address of producer, company registration number, SIC
  • activity or activities performed e.g. manufacturer, distributor or importer of WEEE
  • for each category of WEEE listed in Table 1, the weight of EEE (in tonnes) sold in the UK
  • for each category of WEEE listed in Table 1, the weight of EEE (in tonnes) exported.

Flow of WEEE from end users to recovery stages –

  • The directive requires each member state to ensure that all WEEE is collected separately (from other waste streams) and rates of collection, re-use, recovery, recycling and export of WEEE monitored.
  • A report has to be submitted every two years including the following data:
  • reprocessor details including name, address, company registration number, waste licence details, activity such as refurbishing, dismantling, shredding, melting, recycling (in accordance with definitions given in Table 2 and Table 3)
  • quantity of WEEE collected
  • category of WEEE
  • quantity of materials reused, recovered, recycled for each category.
  • If individual responsibility is enforced, the Environmental Agency will require:
  • weight of WEEE collected, reused, recovered and recycled by category and by make (manufacturer or brand)

Technical Barriers of the Directive

  • Where a shredding operation is involved, the data that is collected will be very short of the data that would be required to fulfil the needs of the directive because:
  • it is difficult, if not impossible to separate by category, any incoming WEEE in order to accurately quantify it
  • it is difficult to assign output materials to individual categories
  • it is impossible in many cases to identify the make of an item.

The Data Capture System

  • The data required for the directive could be captured on a national WEEE database, which would be held and maintained by the Regulator(s).
  • The system would involve:
  • a data entry system
  • modelling and analysis capabilities
  • report generation
  • an administrative centre where access to various areas could be controlled


  • producers and regulators of the WEEE Directive will need to know how much WEEE has been recovered and recycled, with some producers wanting to know how much of their own brand of WEEE has been recycled.
  • separation of WEEE upstream (see Figure 1) may add value to the materials (e.g. items could be refurbished and sold rather than being shredded and sold as aggregate).
  • a central database that can capture data at a local level (from producers and reprocessors) may be set up that will allow the Government and the Regulators to analyse data on WEEE recycling. This would provide an auditable database, capable of generating any reports required by European Government as well as for the UK, and provide a tool to assist with national strategic planning.


Resource Recovery Forum – The measurement of WEEE.