Any business knows that your cybersecurity is just as important as physical security measures, which is why it’s vital to dispose of any old electronic equipment in a responsible way. Waste Electrical and Waste Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Recycling is the safe and secure way to dispose of any old electronic equipment, and it’s an important part of good business practice.
As well as ensuring your data is protected and securely destroyed, electronics recycling is environmentally friendly and ensures your business stays compliant with any UK regulations. If you want to know more about why all businesses should seek out professional WEEE solutions, see below for just five good reasons why.
WEEE stands for Waste Electrical and Waste Electronic Equipment and WEEE disposal and recycling services are suitable for any item which has a plug or requires batteries for power.
The European Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive became European law in February 2003, with aims to reduce the amount of WEEE waste that is sent to landfill and reduce the hazardous substance content of Electronic and Electrical Equipment (EEE). The Directive governs regulations put in place to recover, reuse and recycle any unwanted electronics in compliance with the law.
On the first of January 2014, new UK regulations were put in place regarding how electronics are collected and recycled. These legislations require businesses to take responsibility for any electronic products and make efforts to promote the reuse of electrical equipment. Companies are also responsible for ensuring that any waste items are disposed of correctly and any parts/materials are recycled where possible.
There are actually 14 different categories of WEEE and producers must list their equipment under one of them (this is for reporting purposes). Categories include large household appliances, lighting equipment, medical devices, laptop recycling, cooling equipment and electronic tools.
Items like computer monitors, printers and photocopiers are key items that are likely to be regularly disposed of if you run a business. Responsible disposal is important, not only for your business security but for the wider environment and UK laws too. If you want to know more about exactly why this is, read on for five reasons.
All electronic waste contains potentially harmful chemicals such as lead and chromium, which can cause damage to the environment if not disposed of properly. For example, a standard desktop computer contains a mix of materials including mercury, lead, plastic and glass, and if WEEE products are dumped in landfills then these chemicals can leak into the surrounding soil and water supply as the electronics decay. These toxins then have the potential to end up in our food supply, as well as causing harm to the surrounding wildlife.
Choosing responsible WEEE disposal means that old electronics can be properly taken apart and any recyclable materials extracted. Recycling and disposing of e-waste in the proper way (instead of via landfill or incineration) saves a lot of potential damage to the environment. It reduces the amount of air, land and water pollution and also conserves precious resources; another good reason which we will look at in more detail later on.
Electronic devices at any business often hold a lot of sensitive information, such as employee or client contact details, payroll information or any other general information about a company and its transactions. Secure data destruction is just as important as disposing of the physical electronics themselves, and WEEE recycling services can also securely destroy any data on your behalf.
There are several efficient methods of data destruction available, including overwriting and physical destruction. Overwriting works by using specialist software to overwrite any residual old data with new data. Overwriting is environmentally friendly and highly secure as it erases any remnants of deleted data which may still remain on the hard drive.
Physical destruction methods like disk shredding or melting are other options which will ensure any important data is completely unusable and unreadable once it’s no longer required. Physical destruction is highly efficient, but it isn’t the most eco-friendly way of protecting data so overwriting is often the preferred data destruction method.
There are several valuable materials which can be extracted and reused during the WEEE recycling process, including gold, silver, palladium and copper. Taking the time to extract and reuse these materials saves energy and money needed to mine new natural resources; which also gives another good reason why WEEE disposal is environmentally friendly.
Conserving natural resources also reduces manufacturing costs and prevents the amount of greenhouse gasses being released into the air during the mining process. Reusing materials from WEEE waste like aluminium also saves a lot of energy expended making it (and other similar materials), from scratch.
Arranging for professional WEEE disposal makes sure your business stays fully compliant with any legal obligations regarding electronic disposal. WEEE recycling is the law across the UK and Europe, which means that all individuals and businesses are required to dispose of their electronic waste in a responsible manner.
WEEE regulations state that businesses must try to reuse any appliances, tech or office equipment before sending them away to be recycled. If you have electronic equipment that still works but is out of date or no longer suitable for your needs, consider donating it to charity first.
There are also separate regulations for UK businesses placing electrical or electronic equipment on the market for the first time; either by importing, manufacturing, rebranding or distance selling. If this is the case, it means that that business is considered a producer and must, therefore, register with the Environment Agency (EA) directly or via a Producer Compliance Scheme (PCS) such as Comply Direct.
Making sure you stay on top of WEEE recycling obligations can do wonders for the reputation of your business, and show existing and potential clients that you’re a reputable company. Issues of recycling, climate change and ways to be more environmentally friendly have been pushed to the forefront over the past few years, and it isn’t a passing fad that will fade away. Showing that your business is committed to being as green and eco-friendly as possible can help you to engage with more clients and build a good reputation overall.
Adhering to all regulations also shows that your business is trustworthy and pays attention to detail, again, qualities which are sure to be a hit with potential clients.
If you’re in need of environmentally responsible WEEE recycling for your business in the South West, get in touch with the team at Devon Contract Waste. With years of experience behind us, we understand how important it is for your business to adhere to the proper regulations. You can rest assured that all of our services are fully compliant, so when you choose us for your WEEE disposal, you’re in line with our Zero to Landfill policy.
As well as electronic recycling, we also offer a full range of recycling services for other waste materials, including glass, plastic, green waste, hazardous waste and more. Plus, if you’re in need of containers to store your waste, we have a full range of bags, bins, skips and hazardous waste drums available. For more information about our WEEE recycling or any of our other commercial waste disposal services, give us a call today or visit our website.