WEEE is waste from electric and electronic equipment, for example, household appliances, computers, or cameras.
The expression refers to waste disposal procedures enacted by the French law of 13 August 2005 for equipment used professionally and the French law of 15 November 2006 for household waste.
It makes producers of electric and electronic equipment liable by requiring them to make arrangements for their products at the end-of-life stage, and therefore their disposal.
These producers must implement a collection system allowing buyers to return these products at the end of their service life.
Composition of WEEE
The composition of WEEE varies widely. It includes, in particular (source: ADEME):
- ferrous and non-ferrous metals (10 to 85 %);
- inert materials: e.g. glass (except for cathodic tubes), wood, concrete (0 to 20 %);
- plastics with or without halogenated flame retardants (1 to 70 %);
- a wide variety of specific components that may pose a danger to health and the environment, such as CFCs, batteries, cathode tubes, condensers that may contain PCB, electronic cards, liquid crystal screens, mercury switches or relays, printer toners, cartridges and cables.
An increasing quantity and variety of electric or electronic household waste is being produced. Every year, the French produce 1.6 million tonnes of this type of waste, or 25 kilos per inhabitant. © Ademe