What are WEEE and the importance of their recycling

RAEE: Electronic waste

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, known by its acronym as WEEE,  are all those appliances and electronic devices that once they stop operating and are useless are considered as waste.

 

What are WEEE?

At the legislative level, according to the Spanish Real Decreto 110/2015 of 20th February, “Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment” or “WEEE” are all electrical and electronic equipment that becomes waste as defined in Article 3.a) of the Law 22/2011 of 28th July. This definition includes all components, sub-assemblies and consumables that are part of the product at the time it is disposed of.

 

What is an electrical or electronic device?

Electrical and electronic equipments (EEE) are all those appliances of greater or smaller size that we usually use on a daily basis both in our home and at work. In addition to the great products used in different industries. These are, in the end, all electrical appliances.

Again, according to the provisions of the Spanish Real Decreto 110/2015, we must classify EEE into 7 different categories, which in turn include subcategories depending on the use and characteristics of the equipment.

 

1. Temperature exchange devices with the exception of 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3

1.1. Electrical temperature exchangers chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HFCs), hydrocarbons (HC) or ammonia (NH).

1.2. Electric air conditioning equipment.

1.3. Oil-filled electrical appliances in circuits or capacitors.

2. Monitors, screens and devices with screen size exceeding 100 cm²

2.1. Monitors and LED screens

2.2. Other monitors and screens

3. Lamps

3.1. Discharge lamps (mercury) and fluorescent lamps.

3.2. LED lamps

4. Large equipments (external dimension less than 50 cm)

They include, inter alia: household appliances, consumer appliances, computer and telecommunications equipment, luminaires, sound or image reproducing devices, music equipment, power and electronic tools, toys, sports and leisure equipment, medical devices, surveillance and control instruments, vending machines and electrical power generation equipment. This category does not include equipment in categories 1 to 3 or 7.

5. Small equipments (external dimension less than 50 cm)

They include, inter alia: household appliances, consumer appliances, luminaires, sound or image reproducing devices, music equipment, power and electronic tools, toys, sports and leisure equipment, medical devices, surveillance and control instruments, vending machines and equipment for the generation of electric current. This category does not cover equipment in categories 3 and 6.

6. Small computing and telecommunications equipment (with an external dimension of less than 50 cm)

7. Large photovoltaic panels (with an external dimension greater than 50 cm)

7.1. Photovoltaic panels with silicon

7.2. Photovoltaic panels with cadmium telluride.

 

Electronic Waste and WEEE recycling

In the midst of a fever for technology and its democratization at all levels of society, we feel increasingly dependent on its use. The human being today lives constantly connected to electronic devices mentioned above.

The intensive use, in addition to their discussed lifespan and other issues such as programmed obsolescence, but also the constant search to acquire the latest technology profile products has led to that only the electronic industry generates more than 40 million tons of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) each year, according to data from the united Nations Industrial Development Office.

Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) usually have particularly polluting characteristics, as many of them contain highly toxic substances and require special care, not only during their treatment and recycling, but throughout the whole handling process; collection, storage and transport. Although some of them end up in landfills, it is important to note that most of these devices, which colloquially fall under the terms electronic waste or electronic scrap, can be recycled.

 

Where to recycle WEEE in Spain

Although as consumers we must be more aware and responsible when making new purchases of this kind equipment, we have other alternatives when we have no choice. To avoid electronic waste, we can go to second-hand shops, donate our electronic devices and devices to friends and family or NGOs that they can be reused.

On the other hand, when the device no longer works, we must make it easier to recycle it. To do this, we can deliver it in the same store where we buy it, since by law they are required to pick up the old device regardless of brand and model. In Spain, in addition, it is possible to deliver WEEE in what are known as clean collection points, publicly-owned, in addition to the establishments affiliated to the #GreenShop Program from Ecolec Foundation.

 

For more information about the recycling processes of SPR Group or any other query regarding the equipment marketed as indicated on our website. You can contact us using the contact form and we will try to resolve your questions as soon as possible.

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