Electrical waste: retailer and distributor responsibilities

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Take back waste in store

You must offer to take back waste of the same type as the item your customers buy from you, regardless of:

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

You must also take back items that have the same function. For example, you would:

  • 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

You must:

  • offer the in-store service for free - but you can charge to cover transport costs if you’re 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

Small electronic equipment

‘Very small WEEE’ are items of waste electrical and electronic equipment that are less than 25cm on their longest side.

You must take back all items of ‘very small WEEE’ in store if your electrical and electronic equipment sales area is greater than 400 square metres including aisle, display and shelf space.

You must provide this service to everyone for free, regardless of whether they’ve bought anything from your store.

You’re exempt if you’ve joined the Distributor Takeback Scheme (DTS) or an assessment shows you already have an effective system.

Store waste

Check the conditions to see if you can store the waste temporarily before you dispose of it.

Dispose of waste

To dispose of the waste you’ve collected you can do one of the following.

Producer compliance schemes

Contact a producer compliance scheme (PCS).

The PCS will arrange for the waste to be recycled or prepared for re-use at an Approved Authorised Treatment Facility (AATF).

You may be charged for the collection and transportation of the waste to the AATF or the PCS collection point.

Transport the waste yourself

You can transport the waste to an AATF or PCS collection point yourself.

You need to register as a waste carrier in:

You may also need to follow the rules on transporting hazardous waste in:

Keep records

You must keep records of all electrical and electronic waste that you collect and dispose of - you can use a template.

Include the number of units you’ve received through take back and say how many of these were returned to a PCS.

You need to keep all documentation you make, or are given by the PCS or the AATF, when you dispose of electrical and electronic waste.

You also need to keep records of how you tell customers about your take back scheme.

Keep all your records for 4 years.