Small mixed WEEE looks set to be classed as hazardous waste

Small mixed WEEE (SMW) looks set to be classed as hazardous waste, due to the potential presence of hazardous items such as lead acid batteries.

A Briefing Note recently circulated by the Environment Agency requires that where hazardous and non-hazardous WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) are collected and moved together, they must still be classed as hazardous and therefore require a hazardous waste consignment note. The EA has been considering whether to classify all SMW as hazardous for some time now, and this latest move indicates that it will be.

Justin Greenaway, contracts manager for SWEEEP Kuusakoski, said:

“The consigning of small mixed WEEE as hazardous waste is the correct course of action as there are undoubtedly hazardous materials in WEEE like nicad batteries, mercury and oils. The process of hazardous waste consigning allows the waste flow to be better monitored and theoretically should make it easier for the EA to stop small WEEE from being recycled in a non-compliant manner.”

Recycling Lives is a major processor of WEEE, including SMW. We achieve an average recycling rate of 99% across our sites, and work with a number of specialised WEEE compliance schemes such as Advantage Waste Brokers.

We process a number of hazardous and non-hazardous WEEE types, including CRT, FPD and IT equipment. Processing a range of WEEE using a sophisticated shredding system, the IT & WEEE department accepts waste from both the general public and commercial businesses.