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The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) controls the way old electrical equipment is disposed of, reducing waste and promoting recycling.

It is designed to:

  • Tighten up the treatment of waste, removing hazardous materials.

  • Drive recycling versus waste.

  • Make producers accountable for financing the safe disposal of old electrical and electronic equipment.

All participants in the supply chain are affected:

  • Manufacturers.

  • Distributors.

  • Fire and Security Companies.

  • Facility Management Companies.

  • Installers.

  • WEEE Processors.

It is your liability to take WEEE items back

Smoke detectors are radioactive and must be pre-treated, with the radioactive element removed BEFORE they are disposed of via a WEEE route: 

  • Avoids contamination of waste sites.

  • Prevents radioactive materials entering recycled metals.

  • Safe disposal is achievable only when radioactives are removed.

  • Only once the radioactive element is removed may a WEEE disposal route be used.

What are the implications for you?

  • There is a legally binding requirement to dispose of smoke detectors safely to an approved disposal facility.

  • Pre-treatment is NOT covered by take back schemes, so it is chargeable.

  • The radioactive element must be safely removed prior to disposal.

  • It is your liability to take WEEE items back and return them to each individual manufacturer or Permitted facility.

    • Individual smoke detector makes and models need to be segregated.

    • Storage facilities must be approved and Permitted due to the radioactive element.

    • Transport of smoke detectors to each individual manufacturer needs to be in accordance with government regulations, in bespoke packaging using approved transport carriers where appropriate.


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