Waste electrical and electronic equipment contains hazardous materials that pose a threat to our environmental and human health. The WEEE Directive requires producers to be responsible for the financing of the collection, treatment, recovery and environmentally sound disposal of WEEE from 13 August 2005. It means that final users of such household WEEE are entitled to leave that waste back free of charge, either to retail outlets in instances where a replacement item is purchased, or other authorised collection points, including local authority civic amenity sites, from that date onwards.
Such waste must be properly sorted, de-contaminated and disassembled. Therefore, waste electrical and electronic equipment must not be placed in a household bin. The free collection and recycling of old appliances is designed to make sure this hazardous waste is sent for re-use or recycling. Even small appliances such as hairdryers and portable music players should not be put in the bin but brought for recycling.
Since 13 August 2005, consumers can recycle their old waste electrical and electronic equipment, free of charge, in the following ways:
To a Retailer
- Retailers are required by law to take back waste electrical goods and electronic equipment from customers free of charge.
- Take back is on a one-for-one basis only and the appliance being returned must be of a similar type or have performed the same function as the new item purchased. For example, retailers are not obliged to accept a fridge where the customer has purchased a toaster.
- Where goods are brought over the counter, retailers must take back the old product in-store either at the time of sale or within a maximum of 15 days of the date of sale, proved the consumer can provide proof of purchase.
- Where a new appliance or equipment is being delivered, for example a new washing machine, cooker etc., the seller of the product must take back the old appliance;-
(i) on the delivery of a new product either at the time of delivery, provided the old product has been cleaned and disconnected from any utilities and is ready for immediate collection, or
(ii) at their premises within a maximum of 30 days from the date of delivery.
Retailers must give 24 hours notice of a delivery or else return within 15 days to collect the old appliance.
- Whichever take-back option a consumer avails of must be free of charge.
To a Local Authority
Each local authority must accept household WEEE free of charge at its civic amenity facilities from members of the public. Local authorities can no longer charge gate fees for WEEE.
WEEE can be brought to either of Leitrim County Council's Recycling Centres located at Manorhamilton and Mohill.
Members of the public are advised that it is their responsibility to remove all data from computers, hard drives, memory devices, phones, media players etc. prior to disposal so as to prevent misuse of personal information and other data or images.