WEEE to be classified ‘hazardous’ unless operators can prove it is POP free

Operators dealing in waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) must assume the material they collect is hazardous unless they can prove it is free of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), according to guidance from the Environment Agency (EA).

The EA wrote to more than 1000 operators last week explaining its position on POPs, European Waste Codes (EWC) and reuse.

The guidance will affect any operator who collects WEEE, manages a site that receives WEEE, disposes, treats or recycles or puts WEEE back into reuse.

The letter explains that recent analysis of small mixed WEEE carried out by the Industry Council for Electronic Equipment Recycling (ICEER) found chemicals used as flame retardants in more than 2000 items of WEEE.

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