e-Waste Definition

e-Waste for short – or Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) – is the term used to describe old, end-of-life or discarded appliances using electricity. It includes computers, consumer electronics, fridges, etc which have been disposed of by their original users.

On this website – the e-Waste Guide – “e-waste” is used as a generic term embracing all types of waste containing electrically powered components. e-Waste contains both valuable materials as well as hazardous materials which require special handling and recycling methods. This guide covers all categories of e-waste but emphasizes categories which contain problematic, scarce and valuable or otherwise interesting materials.

Examples: Computers, LCD / CRT screens, cooling appliances, mobile phones, etc., contain precious metals, flame retarded plastics, CFC foams, and many other substances.

Also Read: 10 Best Garbage Disposal Reviews

The graphic below compares the categories of e-waste as used in the Swiss and EU legislation (CH ORDEE and the EU WEEE Directive)

Swiss ORDEE regulations EU WEEE Directive
Household Appliances
Washing machines, Dryers, Refrigerators, Air-conditioners, Vacuum cleaners, Coffee Machines, Toasters, Irons, etc.
Large Household Appliances
Washing machines, Dryers, Refrigerators, Air-conditioners, etc.
Small Household Appliances
Vacuum cleaners, Coffee Machines, Irons, Toasters, etc
Office, Information & Communication Equipment
PCs, Laptops, Mobiles, Telephones, Fax Machines, Copiers, Printers, etc.
Office, Information & Communication Equipment
PCs, Latops, Mobiles, Telephones, Fax Machines, Copiers, Printers etc.
Entertainment & Consumer Electronics
Televisions, VCR/DVD/CD players, Hi-Fi sets, Radios, etc
Entertainment & Consumer Electronics
Televisions, VCR/DVD/CD players, Hi-Fi sets, Radios, etc
Lighting Equipment
Fluorescent tubes, sodium lamps, etc. (Except Bulbs, Halogen Bulbs)
Lighting Equipment
Fluorescent tubes, sodium lamps, etc. (Except Bulbs, Halogen Bulbs)
Electric and Electronic Tools
Drills, Electric saws, Sewing Machines, Lawn Mowers, etc. (Except large stationary tools/machines)
Electric and Electronic Tools
Drills, Electric saws, Sewing Machines, Lawn Mowers, etc. (Except large stationary tools/machines)
Toys, Leisure, Sports, and Recreational Equipment
Electric train sets, coin slot machines, treadmills, etc.
Toys, Leisure, Sports, and Recreational Equipment
Electric train sets, coin slot machines, treadmills, etc.
Medical Instruments and Equipment Medical Instruments and Equipment
Surveillance and Control Equipment Surveillance and Control Equipment
Automatic Issuing Machines Automatic Issuing Machines

 

Legend:

 Under ORDEE since 1998
 Under ORDEE since January 2005
 Not under ORDEE but under separate regulation
 WEEE Directive implemented by Member States by August 2005 – 08

More Useful Links:

System Failure: The UK’s Harmful Trade in Electronic Waste

Weight

e-Waste Assessment South Africa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *