WEEE a definition

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In 2020, there were 54 million tons of WEEE in the world, including 1.7 million tons in France. This figure could triple to 120 million tons by 2050.

Electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) contains substances or components that are hazardous to the environment, but it also has a high potential for recycling the materials that make it up when it is no longer usable. In these cases, they are called Electrical and Electronic Waste, more commonly known as WEEE or W3E. 

You are a professional and you want to know everything about corporate WEEE? We have written this article for you. How to treat them, what are the regulations, how to be accompanied in the management of your waste?

WEEE, W3E what is it ?

Professional Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment is any equipment for professional use (e.g. industrial or commercial activities) that operates by means of an electric current, an electromagnetic field, or equipment for the generation, transfer or measurement of such currents and fields, designed for use at a voltage not exceeding 1,000 volts AC and 1,500 volts DC. 

They are different from household WEEE which are all electrical appliances running on batteries or on sectors, used from household use.

The categories of professional WEEE are the following: 

  • Large appliances
  • Small appliances
  • Computer and telecommunications equipment
  • Consumer equipment
  • Lighting equipment
  • Electrical and electronic tools
  • Toys, leisure and sports equipment
  • Medical devices
  • Monitoring and control instruments
  • Vending machines
  • Photovoltaic panels
  • Installation equipment for the low-voltage electrical energy network and communication network
  • Energy storage and conversion equipment
  • Professional printing cartridges


What about recycling? 

In 2020, 849,097 tons of waste electrical and electronic equipment were collected in France for a recycling rate of 77%, according to the latest Ademe report. 

Among the WEEE recycled from professionals, 90% of computer equipment are keyboards that no longer work, printers, mice or obsolete computer servers, all this waste can quickly become a real problem.

In the recycling process, each material is given a second life: metals are returned to the foundry for remanufacturing, plastics are recycled, televisions and computer monitors are specially treated to remove mercury-containing residues and glass for use in the manufacture of new backlight tubes.

DID YOU KNOW ?
Despite its complexity, WEEE has a very high recycling and recovery potential. 75 to 90% of components can be reused.

Recycling is one of the pillars of the circular economy. It is the main contributor to saving materials and reducing the
pressure on non-renewable materials

Circular Economy

What does the law say ?

The rules vary for professional WEEE depending on when it was acquired:

  • If the products were put on the market before August 13, 2005, the companies holding the products are responsible for processing them.
  • If they were put on the market after August 13, 2005, it is the manufacturers (producers) who are required to collect them.


European directives require companies to rigorously manage their waste. Indeed, an Anti-Waste for a Circular Economy law, also known as the AGEC law was enacted in February 2020 and then completed in August 2021 by the "Climate and Resilience" law. 

This set of measures prescribes specific actions for producers and environmental organizations to promote the extension of the life span of electrical equipment through reuse, re-use and repair.

  • Encourage more responsible production methods

A bonus-malus system on the payment of the eco-contribution

  • Encourage reuse and solidarity

Creation of funds dedicated to the financing of reuse and recycling

  • Promote the extension of the life span of products, particularly through repair

Inform about the availability or not of spare parts when purchasing a product

  • Better inform the consumer to better guide him towards more responsible purchases

Display of a repairability index allowing to know if the equipment is more or less easy to repair on a scale from 1 to 10.

While some measures have been in place since January 1, 2021, others will be scheduled before January 1, 2022 and in the coming years. More info here 

How to manage your WEEE in your company?

Several solutions are available to you to manage your professional WEEE. Dipli's teams accompany you to redirect your flows to the right interlocutor. We collect and audit your stocks for you, in order to define which devices are in working order and which are out of order. We rely on a network of partners in the second hand market to valorize your WEEE and help you to deepen your CSR actions.

  • D:Donate or reuse working appliances :

Once collected, the smartphones arrive at the factory. They are unpacked and then prepared for a software test. In all, more than 30 tests are performed. Following these tests and according to their results, certain parts are renovated. For example, a battery with less than 80% charge capacity must be replaced.

After a complete cleaning of the devices, an aesthetic grade will be assigned to them. The data erasure of repairable devices performed during the reconditioning is managed by our software compliant with the European regulation on data protection and privacy (RGDP): Blancco, NSYS Group, Piceasoft.

We can put these devices back into circulation on the different second hand channels for you, or give them to the eco-organizations or associations we work with (Emmaüs, Ateliers du Bocage, etc.).

Learn more

  • Disposal and recycling :

On the other hand, if your equipment no longer works, it must be sorted separately and sent to a specific recycling and recovery channel. We can redirect you to the recycling organizations we work with. 


 

To conclude, electronic devices have been indispensable for many years in the life of a company as well as a private individual. However, we must keep in mind their environmental consequences and make sure to have the lowest impact, by recycling them or giving them a second life. 

To manufacture these products, large quantities of energy and raw materials are needed. This is why once they become waste, their recycling is all the more important.