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Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEED) is the European Community directive 2002/96/EC on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEED) which, together with the RoHS Directive 2002/95/EC, became European Law in February 2003, setting collection, recycling and recovery targets for all types of electrical goods.

The directive imposes the responsibility for the disposal of waste electrical and electronic equipment on the manufacturers of such equipment. Those companies should establish an infrastructure for collecting WEEED, in such a way that "Users of electrical and electronic equipment from private households should have the possibility of returning WEEED at least free of charge". Also, the companies are compelled to use the collected waste in an ecologically-friendly manner, either by ecological disposal or by reuse/refurbishment of the collected WEEED.
The WEEED Directive obliged the then twenty-five EU member states to transpose its provisions into national law by 13 August 2004. Only Cyprus met this deadline. On 13 August 2005, one year after the deadline, all member states except for the UK had transposed at least framework regulations. The WEEED Directive has been transposed into UK law in 2007. As the national transposition of the WEEED Directive varies between the member states, a patchwork of requirements and compliance solutions is emerging across Europe.

In April 2005 the Royal Society of Arts in the UK (in conjunction with Canon) unveiled a 7 metre tall sculpture entitled 'WEEED Man' on London's South Bank, made from 3.3 tonnes of electrical goods - the average amount of electrical waste one UK individual creates in a lifetime. The giant figure was subsequently moved to the Eden Project in Cornwall as part of a UK tour.

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