The value of re-using household waste electrical and electronic equipment

In 2011 WRAP looked at WEEE being disposed of via Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) and local authority bulky waste collections.

HWRCs represent one of the key places for collection of waste electronics.  Research indicated that 23% of the WEEE separately collected at HWRCs could be re-used with a small amount of repair.  This volume of product represents a large re-sale value for the re-use sector and highlights the benefits of increased segregation or capture of electrical products for re-use.

Taking this research a step further, WRAP and Zero Waste Scotland conducted a series of trials.  They clearly show the advantages of developing strong partnerships to help realise the true value of re-use, both financially and environmentally.

Trials

Case study: Trialling the re-use of used EEE from Leeds City Council (LCC) HWRCs

This trial was about LCC working in close partnership with its WEEE producer compliance scheme, WeeeLink, to establish better systems for managing used EEE.  A formal segregation system was established and now applies across nine of LCC’s HWRC sites.  The trial items targeted included: large domestic appliances and white goods; fridges; Dyson vacuums and display equipment. 

Summary Report: Zero Waste Scotland: Re-use of WEEE from Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs)

This report provides a summary of the opportunities to maximise the re-use of WEEE products disposed of at HWRC sites in Scotland.  The project used four trials to identify the key issues, potential solutions to barriers and provide an economic analysis to identify the most cost effective options. 

The trials have resulted in commitments by the participating councils to continue the trials and expand them into permanent activity.  In real terms, this means that 770,000 people, almost 15% of Scotland’s population, now have the option to re-use their unwanted electrical items.

2011

Information Sheet: The value of re-using household WEEE

WRAP carried out a detailed study of the potential re-use value of unwanted WEEE disposed of at HWRCs and via local authority bulky waste collections. Re-using WEEE, either directly or after repair is a promising route to reducing waste and extending the life of often perfectly serviceable products.

The research found that there is the potential to generate a large amount of re-sale value from the repair, refurbishment and open market re-sale of WEEE. 


Summary Report: Realising the Re-use value of household WEEE

A summary of a study investigating WEEE being disposed of via HWRCs and local authority bulky waste collections, the reasons for disposal, its state of repair, and its potential value. 
Are your repaired electrical goods fit for purpose? 

Guidance and tools

PAS 141 Standard: a process management specification for the re-use of used and waste electrical and electronic equipment (UEEE and WEEE).

Re-use website.

Re-use e-newsletter.