What is WEEE legislation, and how does this affect North products at their end-of-life?

The WEEE Directive (2002/96/EC) is environmental legislation designed to reduce the amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) being dumped in landfill sites. It makes the producer responsible for WEEE and encourages the recycling and re-use of EEE at the end of its useful life. The WEEE Directive defines 10 categories of end-user equipment which are covered by it and provides guidelines for recycling targets:

  1. Large household appliances
  2. Small household appliances
  3. IT and telecommunications equipment
  4. Consumer equipment
  5. Lighting equipment
  6. Electrical and electronic tools
  7. Toys, leisure and sports equipment
  8. Medical devices
  9. Monitoring and control equipment
  10. Automatic dispensers.

This legislation came into force on January 2, 2007.

WEEE Labelling

WEEE safe disposal logoAs part of the WEEE Directive, products are marked with the crossed out wheelie bin symbol and should not be disposed of as unsorted municipal waste (landfill).

Producer Responsibility

Within the EU, the directive makes the 'producer' responsible for WEEE and encourages the recycling and re-use of EEE at the end of its useful life.

Who is a Producer?

You are the producer under the WEEE Regulations if the EEE you place on the UK market falls within the scope of the Regulations and you meet one or more of these criteria:

  • a manufacturer of EEE, selling under your own brand in the UK;
  • a business based in the UK selling under your own brand EEE manufactured by another person;
  • a professional importer introducing EEE to the market.
  • a business based in the UK that places EEE in other EU States by means of distance selling.

This means North will have obligations for North branded EEE we place on the market.

If you re-brand our products or distribute outside the UK directly to an end-user in another EU State, then you are classed as the producer and will have obligations for the EEE you place on the market.

Which Products are within the scope of WEEE?

Products affected fall within the 10 categories as specified above.

In addition to this, equipment can also be classed as either a 'finished product' or 'fixed installation':

A finished product is any device, or unit of equipment that has a direct function, its own enclosure and ports and connections for end users.

A fixed installation is a combination of several equipment, systems, finished products and/or components assembled by an installer at a given place to operate together in an expected environment to perform a specific task, but not intended to be placed on the market as single functional or commercial unit.

The primary function of our products is to form part of an integrated building management or control system. If our products are used for this purpose, they are classified by the WEEE Directive as a fixed installation and are therefore exempt from the requirements of the WEEE Directive.

If you intend to use our products for another purpose, they may not be exempt from the directive.

How do I dispose of North products at the end of their useful life?

Whilst the directive does not apply to some of North's products, we support its requirements as part of our environmental policy and we ask you to be aware of how you should dispose of this product.

If you are discarding old EEE without making a like-for-like purchase then you will need to finance the costs of collection, treatment, recycling and environmental sound disposal of this WEEE.

If the EEE was purchased on or after 13 August 2005, and it falls within the scope of the directive, then the producer is responsible for the financing of its collection, treatment, recycling and environmental sound disposal at the end of its life.

If North is the producer of the product then contact us directly, we will arrange for its collection and liaise directly with our producer compliance scheme. If the product falls outside the scope of the WEEE Directive then a change may be applicable.