Collecting and treating waste electricals

Guidance and advice to help you maximise economic value when collecting and treating waste electrical items.

The way in which waste electricals are collected and treated can impact on the recovery potential, both in terms of recycling and re-use. Working within the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations, good practice in collections can maximise the value to be gained from products. Guidance to support better collection and treatment is available and product specific information on flat panel displays which require specific treatment.

To enable collection, treatment and reprocessing businesses to understand the flow of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) products a material flow model was developed and provides estimates of product material composition. A model of the flow of materials through the system highlights that more recycling occurs than is recorded through the official system.  This model also demonstrates the potential material value if the critical raw materials could be recovered more effectively . 

With increasing targets for re-use and recycling of electronic products, different mechanisms for collections should be considered, like working with schools or running collection events.

We have also published a summary of key findings from recent research into WEEE disposal and processing in the UK.

Sign up to receive the WRAP Re-use and Repair enewsletter