New Important Environment Agency Guidance regarding Hazardous Waste
In August 2020, the Environment Agency published new guidance for IT recyclers regarding Hazardous Waste and POPs. POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) are potentially hazardous substances which can affect the environment and human health if they escape. Chemicals such as bromine have been used in plastic for electrical items due to their flame retardant properties.
POPs cannot be recycled and the Environment Agency has confirmed they must be burned through high temperature incineration. If plastic is found to contain levels above the POPs thresholds, it will have to be considered as a hazardous waste. This means that many items, in particular Small Mixed WEEE, Cathode Ray Tube TVs and Flat Screen TVs, cables, printed circuit boards (PCBs) could contain levels of POPs that effectively render them hazardous.
The Environment Agency guidance states “if, at any point, an electrical device containing POPs becomes waste, it becomes subject to the legal requirement to destroy (or irreversibly transform) the POPs. You are not allowed to reuse this device and it cannot cease to be waste, even if it is working order.
What do I have to do now?
It is now more important than ever that our customers provide a definitive list of what items they have for collection and whether they are working or non working items. We can no longer book collections unless we have this information beforehand. We can however, accept a photograph of the items with brief description.
|Quantity||Container (Loose, bag, box, pallet)||Description||Working/Not working||EWC Codes (Recycle IT 4U will complete this)|
|40||Loose||All in ones||Working||160213|
The majority of our customers use our services as they know we are their trusted partner in the refurbishment and recycling of unwanted, working IT. Moving forward our customers need to confirm if the items collected are for refurbishment and recycling as part of an asset recovery collection or are WEEE waste.
If the items are working as part of an asset recovery collection/refurbishment and recycling of unwanted, working IT this will continue to be a free collection. *Some hazardous items will still incur small charges, e.g. CRT monitors, televisions and photocopiers.
If the items are waste, these collections result in a need for greater sorting and separation of what is now deemed potentially hazardous plastic derived from WEEE, charges will be incurred to the customer as a fee has to be paid to the Environment Agency for these collections, and Recycle IT 4U has to coordinate the disposal of the items at one of the very few specialist POPs treatment facilities.
If you are unsure about how to describe your items, that’s not a problem, give us a call and we will be able to help with how you are classifying what you have for collection.
What paperwork will I now receive?
As usual you will still receive your Duty of Care: Waste Transfer Note – this is to confirm the items collected are to be transferred in ownership, from you the customer to Recycle IT 4U.
In addition you will now receive a Hazardous Waste Note for each collection that has hazardous waste included. At the end of each quarter, you will receive a Hazardous Waste Quarterly Return. This will provide you with a record of the items we have collected for you, together with the weights of any hazardous waste collected. This information is also reported to the Environment Agency.