What is WEEE
WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) is the term used to define redundant / faulty electronic equipment waste produced within the UK. The WEEE directive 2007 regulations define how WEEE needs to be handled, transported, refurbished and recycled.
WEEE is a rapidly inflating waste stream due to increasingly more people and organisations becoming dependant on what technology can offer along with the fact that new technology outdates its predecessor within a very small-time scale. Technology is the fastest developing sector in the world, with new revisions being created before the latest products are even available for sale. This leads to a fast turnaround in electronic equipment, so everyone can keep up and not get left behind. WEEE falls into the following categories:
Environmentally friendly recycling of your redundant / faulty IT systems is essential to promote a good sustainable impression on others & to have a positive impact on the world in which we live.
Recycling is extremely important to both the environment and us.
The amount of WEEE computer waste we create is constantly increasing due to:
- Rapidly evolving computer technology. IT equipment must be upgraded quickly to stay up to date which of course is producing increasing amounts of WEEE PC waste
- Items are reused less and less – IT devices are simply considered by both end users and manufacturers as single-use devices. Manufacturers aren’t embedding factory reset techniques
- The population is increasing which increases the amount of IT equipment in use and being disposed of.
- The capabilities of IT are advancing extremely fast which means more people are becoming dependant on it
- IT hardware is rarely considered for repair anymore. Once it is broken, a new item is purchased
- IT hardware is becoming increasingly affordable making it more widely used and disposed of
The environmental importance of IT computer recycling is high with negative impacts of non-compliance:
- Hazardous chemicals such as lead, mercury and arsenic are released into the water system if IT equipment is improperly disposed of
- If IT equipment isn’t reused, it increases the amount of IT hardware disposed of and new hardware being manufactured
- WEEE waste is illegally exported to developing countries where valuable metals are burnt out of the systems with the remaining waste left to contaminate the environment. Developing countries simply don’t have the resources in place to recycle such hardware
- A large amount of energy is used when manufacturing new IT hardware. Recycling requires much less energy and therefore preserves natural resources
- The landfill sites are becoming more and more congested
The significant positive effect of computer recycling on people and the economy:
- General recycling incorporating computer hardware disposal is the fastest growing economic sector within the UK providing increasing numbers of jobs
- People with a lower income can afford cheaper hardware
- To developing countries, what we call IT waste is state of the art to them. Providing the computer disposal, data destruction, refurbishment and export proceedings are compliant with legislation then the hardware benefits other countries around the world who cannot afford new systems
- Increased positive sense of environmental sustainability throughout the nation
- The sale of refurbished hardware generates income whereas disposal costs money and often creates unrecyclable waste
After four years of preparation and debate the GDPR was finally approved by the EU Parliament on 14 April 2016. From 25th May 2018, the new EU GDPR directive comes into force and companies found to have fallen foul of data breaches will face huge fines – Recycle Your Tec can help you put strategies in place to ensure your business doesn’t become one of them!
There are several key steps you need to take to ensure you are ready for GDPR –
* Awareness – Ensure decision makers and key staff within your organisation are aware of the changes in law relating to GDPR.
* Information – Document what personal data is held, where it came from and the authorised personnel with which it can be shared. Consider scheduling an Information Audit.
* Communication of private information – Undertake a review of your organisation’s current privacy notices. Consider changes that may need to be made and implemented in time for GDPR.
* Individuals’ rights – Check that any procedures you have in place cover all the rights of individuals, including how personal data would be deleted or how data would be shared electronically and in a commonly used format.
* Subject Access Requests – Update planned procedures to reflect how you will handle access requests within the new time-scale and how you will provide any additional requested information.
* Lawful basis for processing personal data – You will have to explain your lawful basis for processing personal data in your privacy notice and when you answer a subject access request.
* Consent – Determine how your organisation finds, records and manages an individual’s consent. Do changes need to be made in line with the new GDPR standard?
* Children – Think about whether systems need to be put in place to determine an individual’s age and how parental or guardian consent would be obtained in order to process their data.
* Data Breaches – Make sure you have the correct procedures in place to detect, report and investigate a personal data breach.
* Data Protection by Design & Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs) – Familiarise yourself with the ICO’s code of practice regarding Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA), guidance from Article 29 Working Party and when and how to implement them within your organisation.
* Data Protection Officers – Designate someone within your organisation to take responsibility for data protection compliance. Consider appointing someone in the specific role of Data Protection Officer (DPO)?
* International – If your organisation has establishments in more than one EU member state, you must determine and document your lead data protection supervisory authority.
For more information please visit www.eugdpr.org or www.ico.org.uk