A brief overview of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment regulations

Selection of WEEE items

We don’t specialise in waste disposal but it does form part of our job. As a result we often receive questions about certain legislation and the WEEE ruling is often overlooked by customers. So, although this article is only tangentially related to house clearance, we think that it may be of interest – especially since it could save you a headache in the future!

The Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations came into force and became the law in the UK on 1st January 2014. These regulations mean that even more products will be covered with effect from 1st January 2019.

By law, all goods that fall into this category must be disposed of according to strict rules. If you’re getting rid of items on an irregular, private basis, then you will need to take the item to the local tip or call the local authority (for the Penistone area it’s Barnsley MBC – https://www.barnsley.gov.uk/services/bins-rubbish-and-recycling/ask-us-to-collect-large-unwanted-items/). They can collect it for you. They may charge for this. Bear in mind that if you want to dispose of an item because you’ve just bought a replacement, the retailer that sold it to you is obliged by law to offer to take the old one of your hands. This is explained later in this article.

Because of the regulations, a company such as ourselves must be licensed to deal with such items. Examples of WEEE items are:

  • Batteries
  • Lightbulbs
  • Televisions
  • Laptop and desktop computers and tablets
  • Mobile phones with screens
  • Fridges, freezers, chillers and air-conditioning units
  • Printed circuit boards
  • Cameras
  • Power Tools

The full list can be seen here: https://www.gov.uk/how-to-classify-different-types-of-waste/electronic-and-electrical-equipment

So as you might imagine, we have to be diligent when we’re clearing any property.

How WEEE affects you

By law, a retailer must “…Offer to take back waste of the same type as the item customers buy.” This is regardless of:

  • whether they buy in-store, online or by mail order
  • the brand of the item

They must “also take back items that have the same function”. For example:

  • take back a customer’s old kettle when they buy a new one
  • take back a video player if the customer buys a DVD player


  • offer the in-store service for free – but (they) can charge to cover transport costs if  collecting items from customers’ homes
  • give customers at least 28 days to bring back their waste item
  • take back all types of electrical and electronic equipment that you sell – you can choose to extend your service to cover all kinds of electrical and electronic waste

So this means that if you buy a new washing machine, the retailer is obliged to take it off your hands.

WEEE retailer obligations can be found here:

Classification of WEEE can be found here:

We hope you find this informative. If you have any queries, please feel to get in touch.

JB House Clearances – making your life easier.

Call us on  01226 766977 (landline) or 07771 795112 (mobile) for more info.