Small businesses have a WEEE problem

One in eight businesses unaware of cost-cutting legislation, says report

Many small business owners are unaware of environmental regulations which could save them money, a survey has found.

One year after it was introduced, just 12% of small businesses could name the regulations in the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) legislation.

The legislation, which was introduced in January 2007 to reduce the amount of electrical waste going to landfill, states that it is up to the manufacturer, not the owner, to dispose of electrical equipment purchased after August 2005.

Environmental guidance website NetRegs said that small businesses ignoring WEEE legislation could be paying the price through avoidable waste charges and unnecessary effort in disposing of their own electrical waste.

It added that small businesses generate over 60% of the one million tonnes of electrical equipment thrown away every year in the UK.

Richard Martin, programme manager at NetRegs, said it was critical that all users of electrical equipment understand what WEEE means for them.

“It is worrying that only one in eight small businesses are aware of WEEE legislation unprompted,” he said.

“The good news for small businesses is that WEEE legislation can help businesses dispose of their electrical products sustainably – in many – cases, at no cost.

“Where previously businesses may have had to pay for a skip, now they can contact the producer of electrical goods they have purchased since 2005 to dispose of their WEEE,” he said.

He advised businesses to check that manufacturers are legally registered and already conforming to legislation before buying a new piece of equipment.

“At the end of the equipment’s life, disposal should be easier and should also improve the business’s green credentials,” he said.

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2008

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