Electrical waste recycling

Biffa Transform: How WE can recycle WEEE

21 Sep 2020
10 mins

On average, each person in the UK buys almost three new electrical items each year – or around 170 million nationally.

What is WEEE

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment or WEEE is everything that require electricity from a mains plug, battery, USB or solar energy to operate. WEEE can be broken down into 14 reporting categories:


 Category 1 Large Household Appliances (other cooling equipment)
 Category 2 Small Household Appliances
 Category 3 IT and Telecoms equipment (other than displays)
 Category 4 Consumer Equipment (other than displays)
 Category 5 Lighting equipment (other than gas discharge lamps and LED Light sources)
 Category 6 Tools
 Category 7 Toys, leisure and sports equipment
 Category 8 Medical Devices
 Category 9 Monitoring and Control equipment
 Category 10 Automatic dispensers
 Category 11 Display Equipment (televisions and monitors)
 Category 12 Cooling Equipment Containing Refrigerants
 Category 13 Gas discharge lamps and LED light sources
 Category 14 Photovoltaic Panels
You’re probably familiar with a lot of these categories like large and small household appliances and some you didn't realise was electrical waste like battery operated children's’ toys or your electric toothbrush but it’s all WEEE and there are regulations and responsibilities in place to ensure electrical waste is disposed of responsibly.

UK WEEE regulations

Who is obligated to recycle WEEE and what are the responsibilities?

We all have an obligation to ensure our waste is recycled efficiently. Consumers can take their electrical waste to household recycling centres or take them back into the store purchased, but the UK government put in place specific responsibilities for retailers, distributors and producers.
Biffa launched a doorstep WEEE collection initiative with local councils - check to see if we operate in your area. For a one-off collection of business electrical waste, such as computers and other IT equipment, our new waste removal Skoup can be booked online for the next day.

Each year the UK produces enough waste electrical to fill Wembley stadium 6 times over.

If you are a retailer selling electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) whether it’s direct, online, mail order or over the phone, you must offer either:
* a free, in store, take back service for customers
* set up an alternative, free take back service


If you do not have your own take back service, you must join the Distributor Takeback Scheme (DTS).  Also, check out how we are making a difference with our vape take-back scheme to help recycle disposable vapes.
Producers of WEEE have other responsibilities. If a company places more than 5 tonnes of electrical equipment on the market, they must join a producer compliance scheme (PCS), which takes on their obligations to finance the collection, treatment, recovery and environmentally sound disposal of household WEEE collected in the UK.
Companies who place less than 5 tonnes of electrical equipment on the market can register as a small producer with their environmental regulator.

Biffa Transform

What is Biffa Transform?

Biffa Transform is a compliance scheme for producers, managing a producer’s legal responsibility under the WEEE Regulations including: 
  1. Regulatory advice and technical guidance 
  2. Identification and categorisation of EEE
  3. Registering producers with the Environment Agency 
  4. Report the EEE/WEEE data to the Environment Agency 
  5. Arrange WEEE collections, approve and report the data to the Environment Agency
  6. Provide distributors with the information to meet distributor’s obligation


How Biffa Transform calculate producer responsibility

(Total amount of EEE you placed on the market within one category in the previous compliance year 
Total amount of EEE placed on the market by all producers within one category in the previous compliance year) 
Amount of WEEE determined by the Secretary of State to be the Collection Target in the current compliance year
Cost of obligation
For more information on WEEE compliance and Biffa Transform, please contact us or call us on 01494 556 565
WEEE facts infographic
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Author: Biffa

This article was written by one of Biffa's own experts and content writers.