The objective of the WEEE Directive, in conjunction with the RoHS Directive which restricts hazardous substances, is not only to make for safer recycling at a products end of life, but to prevent electronic equipment from ending up on landfill sites as well as recycling and recovering as much material as possible.

The 3.3 tonne, 7 metre high WEEE Man made entirely of discarded electrical items features at the Eden Project in Cornwall.

This represents the amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment that the average British household throws away in a lifetime.

Producers, this can be the manufacturer or company importing products into the European Union, must register with an approved compliance scheme which will monitor the amount of product placed on the market and manage the safe disposal through an authorised recycling company. There is a registration fee and the disposal costs depend on the weight of product placed on the market each year.

WEEE rules can, and often do, differ by Member State. In Germany for example, the brand and the WEEE category of the product needs to be registered before it can be made available for sale. Photographs have to be taken clearly highlighting the brand.

All electrical and electronic equipment must carry the wheelie bin symbol which emphasises that the product should not be discarded into landfill. All products that require electricity to provide their primary function are covered by the WEEE directive even if they are battery powered or need winding up.

Please find attached the Frequently asked Questions Document covering WEEE2 (2012/19/EU) published by the European Commission. This Directive repealed the original 2002/96/EC on 14 February.

For more on the Green Man see “From Prototype to Product” by Seggy T Segaran available via Amazon.