WEEE stands for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment. Pretty much anything with a battery or plug that has reached its end-of life comes under the term WEEE.
If you’ve read one of our previous blogs, you’ll know how important it is to recycle your waste electrical and electronic equipment, especially if you’re a business.
It’s estimated that 50 million tonnes of WEEE is generated every year, and only 15-20% of it is recycled. WEEE that is taken to landfill or incinerated can release dangerous substances that can pollute the air. So, it’s very important to recycle it. But what actually happens when your WEEE goes for recycling?
1. It’s Shredded
Once your WEEE is sent to an appropriate treatment facility, it is shredded up into smaller pieces.
2. Metal Separation
Strong magnets go over these shredded pieces to pick out the ferrous metals like steel. The non-magnetic metals such as aluminium are separated with an eddy current. Eddy currents are loops of electrical current, which circulate in conductors. If you’ve heard of swirling eddies in a stream, it’s just like that.
3. On to the Plastics
Electrical products are made out of a number of materials, so once the metals have been separated, the plastics need to be sorted. This is done using infrared lights or a process called density separation.
4. Raw Materials are Turned into New Things
Next, all raw materials identified will be sent out to create brand new things. Zinc from your mobile phone could go on to form part of a ship!
5. The Earth is Thankful
Recycling WEEE is without a doubt a much more environmentally friendly route to take than landfill or incineration. Most electronics contain very valuable materials and re-using them can contribute to a greener planet. If you or your small business needs a collection of WEEE products, we can help!
Valley Waste Recycling is an approved and fully licensed and approved company for WEEE work, we can collect and remove IT products and other end-of-life electrical items. Take a look and request a quote today!