With everything digital rapidly developing, it is important to know the legislation around computer recycling. Many people do not know that it is against the law to put old computers and equipment into landfill. Each year, roughly 2 million tonnes of WEEE items are thrown out by people in the UK. WEEE items are most products that have a plug or battery. It is important to recycle as electrical items are made up of materials which can be hazardous.
WEEE Directives | For Businesses
The most noteworthy legislation is the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE Directives) which is an element of EU law and UK law since 2013. These directives lay out several requirements for businesses using and selling electronic equipment.
Producers must register themselves and make sure that they label their products showing that they cannot be disposed of as household waste. Records must be kept for four years to prove that they are recycling WEEE items properly. Finally, the producer must join a Producer Compliance Scheme (PCS) which sets collection targets. Each firm takes on the responsibility for a percentage.
Any business that sells or important electronic equipment has a duty to provide their customers with a way of disposing of their old electrical items when purchasing new ones. This can be done by providing a collection service or allowing them to be sent for free. Written information on computer recycling must be offered.
Computer Recycling | For Individuals
So, as an individual you should be able to recycle your electronic goods from the company you bought from or they should contribute to the cost of local recycling services. Whichever service they provide, they must provide free written information on how to recycle.
However, if you can’t use a recycling system provided by a retailer, there are other options to use after making sure that you have wiped all the personal data from your device. Some third-party companies such as Virogreen offer recycling for free, as well as some local councils (which may charge for collection).
Before recycling you should reset your computer to its ‘factory settings’ which should leave only the pre-installed programs and bare operating system on there. You should back up all your important files first onto an external hard drive, cloud storage or new computer. To be certain your data is gone, you should consider data shredding software. If not just remove the hard drive.
In addition to computer recycling, Virogreen have the knowledge, experience and technology in house to undertake safe data destruction. We can effectively destroy all your sensitive data when the time comes to change or renew your storage devices.