Hazardous Waste – a brief overview

Hazardous WasteThe WEEE Directive

In addition to the rules covering the transfer of all redundant  IT equipment, the current WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive) regulations mandate the way that hazardous waste must be treated by businesses / institutions and their third party recyclers. 

What is Hazardous waste?

Clearly, there are many types of waste which are classified as hazardous, including some which are not normally discussed in polite society!  However, from the standpoint of redundant IT equipment the most common items are old style CRT monitors and TVs (which contain a quantity of mercury), as well as lead acid containing UPS batteries.  

Am I required to do anything?

The bad news:

For those unfamiliar with the regulations, the current situation is that any site (one postal address) which produces more than 500kg of hazardous waste* within a rolling year must be registered as a Producer of Hazardous Waste before breaking this threshold.  

The good news:

The online registration process (which covers one year) is straightforward and not costly.

*Please note that the weight is of the assets containing the hazardous substances, and not just the weight of the hazardous materials themselves! 


If you are aware that some of your redundant assets are classified as hazardous, then to avoid falling foul of the regulations, you may wish to use the following checklist when dealing with a recycler:

  • Are they licensed as a Waste Carrier and/or Broker?
  • Are their premises registered on the Hazardous Waste Register? 
  • Do they understand (and more importantly abide by) the current regulations?
  • Do they have procedures in place to ensure the safe recycling of these items?
  • If YES to the above, do their procedures include a policy of 0% to landfill?
  • When applicable in the past, have they issued you with the required Hazardous Waste Consignment  Note?

If you would like further clarification on any of the above and it relates to IT Equipment, then please feel free to contact us and we will do our best to help/advise