Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE)

Electrical and Electronic Equipment is defined as equipment which is dependent on electric currents or electromagnetic fields in order to work properly and equipment for the generation, transfer and measurement of such currents and fields. As a general rule of thumb, if it has a battery or needs a power supply to work properly, it is EEE and there are structures in place to reuse/recycle this equipment when it reaches end of life.  

EEE has been divided into 10 categories

  • Large household appliances
  • Small household appliances
  • IT and telecommunications equipment
  • Consumer equipment
  • Lighting equipment
  • Electrical and electronic  tools (with the exception of large-scale stationary industrial tools)
  • Toys, leisure and sports equipment
  • Medical devices (with the exception of all implanted and infected products)
  • Monitoring and control instruments
  • Automatic dispensers

The WEEE Register Society Limited has issued a further breakdown of categories listed above, which can be downloaded from www.weeeregister.ie.    

 

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

 

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment is defined as Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) which has reached end of life (waste); including all components, subassemblies and consumables which are part of the product at the time of discarding.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment regulations came into effect in 2005; these were amended and the new regulations came into force in July 2011.

Obligations

Any person or organisation that manufacturers, produces, imports and/or sells EEE in the state has certain obligations to meet, as set out in the regulations. Further information on producer and retailer/distributor obligations can be found by following the appropriate links above. 

End users of equipment

As an end user (consumer) of EEE you should also ensure that you dispose of all WEEE in the correct manner.  Once an appliance is considered WEEE (i.e. you are ready to dispose of the appliance) you have 2 options:

  • The retailer is required to take back WEEE from the customer free of charge (this is on a one for one basis i.e. you are buying another appliance in the store and the new appliance is of similar function to the appliance you are returning). 
  • Household WEEE can also be taken to your local civic amenity site free of charge.

WEEE must be separately collected for recycling and recovery of resources and the producer is responsible for arranging and financing this.  It must not be disposed of in general refuse or mixed waste streams and free take-back must be provided to all end-users.  This applies to both household and non-household end-users.  A system for the free-take back of WEEE from the household waste stream is well established through retail outlets and civic amenity sites.  Non-household end-users must be provided with free take back also through the distributor and/or producer of the electrical and electronic equipment/batteries.

Remember:  Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment should never be placed in your household bin.

Useful links

WEEE Register Society

WEEE Ireland or Recyclefree.ie

ERP Recycling or batteriesback.ie