The rules for WEEE waste disposal


When it comes to the disposal of electronic waste that has reached the end of its useful life, also known as WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), there are specific rules and regulations that must be followed.

All electrical waste is harmful to the environment as it contains dangerous chemicals. Our old computers, televisions, refrigerators, mobile phones, and other basic household appliances when dumped in landfills take many decades to decay, while leaking poisonous toxins into the earth, and our waste systems.

TV screens and computer screens for example contain metal parts that if not handled properly can be particularly dangerous to the environment. Fridges must also be disposed of correctly as they need to be degassed to ensure the CFC gases and fluorescent strips are carefully handled and dealt with safely.

Thankfully many of components used in the manufacturing of electrical and electronic goods can now be treated, recycled or recovered for re-use so taking time to read disposal guidelines is crucial for individuals and businesses alike.

Here we simply explain everything WEEE-related with our top tips for disposing of household and office equipment.

Regulatory controls

Several industry bodies oversee the management and disposal of WEEE waste in the UK. These organisations ensure compliance with relevant regulations and promote environmentally friendly practices.

Key industry bodies include:

  1. Environment Agency:

    The EA is the regulatory body responsible for enforcing waste management legislation. They oversee the proper handling, storage, and disposal of WEEE waste.

  2. Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive):

    The WEEE Directive sets out the requirements for the collection, treatment, and recovery of WEEE waste in the European Union. It aims to reduce the environmental impact of electronic waste and promote recycling.

Trade Waste Licenses

Businesses that handle and dispose of WEEE waste are required to hold a valid trade waste license. This license ensures waste is managed responsibly and in compliance with environmental regulations. Before booking a local collection for WEEE waste disposal, you MUST verify the validity of the waste carrier’s trade waste license. This can easily be done by checking their unique registration number on the DEFRA website.

Solowaste offers the following tips for safe WEEE waste disposal:

  • Separate WEEE waste: Keep WEEE separate from other types of rubbish to facilitate proper recycling and disposal. Many local councils collect small electrical items alongside regular collections but request that it is kept separate and bagged for ease of sorting. Check your local authority’s website for its specific list of WEEE items and which days they collect.
  • Find a registered waste carrier: Ensure the carrier you engage is registered and their license is current. This ensures your waste is handled and disposed of legally and responsibly.
  • Packaging: Wrap up WEEE waste securely to prevent any leaks, spills, or potential harm during transportation.
  • Documentation: keep records of WEEE waste disposal, including collection receipts or waste transfer notes. This documentation is essential for auditing and compliance purposes.
  • Educate employees: Train your employees on the proper handling and disposal of WEEE waste to minimise risks and ensure compliance with regulations.

Items commonly collected by local councils along with household rubbish (separated and bagged):


  • Any household battery
  • Lithium batteries
  • Mobile phone batteries
  • Cell / button batteries
  • Toys / games batteries
  • Smoke detector batteries

Small electrical items

  • Irons
  • Toasters
  • Electric toys and games
  • Mobile phones
  • Laptop computers
  • MP3 players
  • Kettles

Disposing of WEEE waste requires adherence to specific rules and regulations to protect everyone. By understanding the guidelines, checking the validity of trade waste licenses, and following the above tips, we can call all contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable future while fulfilling our obligations and caring for our beautiful planet.

If you are unsure about any aspect of WEEE disposal or would like to book a collection, please contact Solowaste’s friendly team for assistance.

How to dispose of plasterboard responsibly


Plasterboard, also known as drywall or gypsum board, is a common building material used in construction. It is a versatile material, but it can pose a challenge when it comes to disposal. In the UK, plasterboard waste is classified as non-hazardous waste, but it must be disposed of responsibly to minimise its impact on the environment.

Why does plasterboard pose a risk?

Plasterboard is a relatively fragile material that requires careful handling to avoid damage or breakage. There are a few risks associated with plasterboard when it is damaged or stored improperly.

  • Health risks

When plasterboard is broken, it can release dust and fibres that can be harmful to human health if inhaled. These dust and fibres can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat, and can also trigger respiratory problems such as asthma.

  • Hydrogen sulfide gas

Plasterboard can release hydrogen sulfide gas when moisture in the air reacts with the sulfur in the material. This can be hazardous in high concentrations. Disposing of plasterboard improperly, such as mixing it with other waste or breaking it up into small pieces, will make this more of a risk.

How should you approach plasterboard disposal?

  • Hire a professional waste disposal service

These companies have the expertise and equipment to handle plasterboard waste safely and responsibly. As well as for peace of mind, you may want to consider hiring a professional waste disposal service if you want to spare yourself the time and hassle involved in the disposal process.

  • Check with your local council

Rules and regulations for the disposal of plasterboard waste can vary depending on your location. If you decide to dispose of your own plasterboard it is always a good idea to check with your local council to find out about any specific guidelines or restrictions that apply in your area.

What are your disposal options?

Plasterboard waste should be separated from other waste to make it easier to handle and dispose of. This will also help to prevent contamination of other materials, making them unsuitable for recycling or reuse. Mixing plasterboard waste with other materials can also make it more difficult to dispose of properly, as it may require special handling or treatment.

  • Recycle plasterboard waste

Recycling plasterboard is a sustainable option that can help to reduce waste and conserve resources. Some recycling facilities accept plasterboard waste and process it into new products. You can check with your local council or waste management company to find out if there are recycling facilities in your area that accept plasterboard waste.

  • Reuse plasterboard waste

Plasterboard waste can also be reused in construction projects. For example, it can be used as a soil conditioner or as a base material for new walls. You can consult with a professional builder or construction company to find out if there are any opportunities to reuse your plasterboard waste.

Disposing of plasterboard – The key points

In conclusion, the disposal of plasterboard requires careful consideration and handling to minimise its impact on human health and the environment. Plasterboard is a fragile material that can release dust and fibres if broken or mishandled, and it can also produce hydrogen sulfide gas if disposed of improperly. Therefore, it is recommended that individuals consult with a professional waste disposal service to ensure that their plasterboard waste is handled and disposed of responsibly.

By taking the necessary precautions and following the guidelines for plasterboard waste disposal, we can reduce the amount of plasterboard waste that ends up in landfills and promote sustainable waste management practices. It is essential to prioritise responsible waste management, and by working together, we can protect our environment and safeguard public health.

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Recycling At Christmas

Recycling At Christmas - Solowaste

Keeping Mindful at Christmas

Christmas Recycling
Recycling throughout the festive holidays is more important now than ever, it is believed that an additional 30% of waste is produced over the Christmas period. Unfortunately, most of this waste will make its way to landfill where it goes on to damage the environment. With the threat of climate change going nowhere in the new year it begs the question, what can consumers do to reduce our impact on the planet?

Less is More
For most people Christmas is a time of excess, more eating, drinking and fun with friends and family. Christmas 2020 undoubtedly will be a different Christmas in many ways, but one of the main changes you can make is to impact the environment less.

By making some small tweaks to your Christmas routine you can curve your consumption and have a greener more sustainable Christmas 2020.

Some of the most beneficial changes that consumers can make to go green at Christmas is to reduce overall consumption, this can be in the form of buying local from independent stores or re-gifting second hand and pre-loved items that may have otherwise gone to landfill. Gifting personal and unique gifts do not always have to be store bought. Gifts such as vouchers for services for example nail treatments or experiences to remember can go a long way for a special someone or the whole family. Books, records, electrical equipment or even teapots and cups all make amazing second-hand gift ideas.

Reduce, Reuse Recycle. In That Order.
Many Christmas decorations that are made from glass and plastic can be used time and time again, keeping decorations classic and timeless will ensure that you can use them year after year. To avoid decorations going to the landfill you can donate tinsel and un-recyclable baubles to charity shops or some local food banks may accept them to give some Christmas cheer to those less fortunate (it is best to contact charities directly to make sure they are accepting decorations).

300,000 tonnes of cardboard packaging is said to be used during the festive season, which is enough to cover London’s Big Ben almost 260,000 times. When buying online for home delivery, it is unavoidable that you will accumulate excessive packaging, as cardboard is widely recycled you can break it down, remove excess tape and place in your recycling bin. Over the festive season, some recycling centres take additional bags of paper and cardboard so check online before placing recyclable goods into your general waste bin.

Know Your Bins
Any items that have a plug, use batteries or have a symbol of a wheelie bin with a cross through are known as waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). These items often include Christmas tree lights, fairy lights and Christmas toys. These items should not be sent to landfill and can be recycled at your local household waste recycling centres. To correctly dispose of WEEE products look at your local recycling centres webpage.

And to wrap things up, back in 2017 the UK sent an enormous 277,000 miles of wrapping paper to landfill after Christmas. For greener Christmas solutions you can visit your local council’s website to see what sorts of wrapping paper they accept. As a rule of thumb, glitter cannot be recycled in any form. For foiled and metallic wrapping paper the easiest way to know if it goes in the recycling or the general waste bin is to do the scrunch test. If the wrapping paper stays scrunched then it can be recycled. If it straightens back out then it will need to go in the general waste bin. Some alternatives for wrapping paper is the classic brown wrapping paper, that can be paired with gift tags and yarn. Alternately  gifting in gift bags is a good idea as they can be used again and again.

For more tips on staying green over the festive period follow our Instagram @solowaste_ltd where we share sustainable tips every day.

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What can and can’t go into your skip

We’ve created a handy guide to help you understand what can and can’t go in one of our skips.

What can go in your skip

Whether it is the maintenance of your garden, creating your idea of paradise, or cleaning it up for the kids we can help you dispose of your garden waste. Waste such as foliage, soil and small plants can go in your Solowaste skip.

All types of wood can be recycled and repurposed for other uses. Wood such as furniture or garden waste is welcome in your Solowaste skip.

All sorts of metal can go into your skip. To help us recycle your paint cans they must either be clean and rinsed or completely dry. This helps us avoid damaging your property and the environment.

A huge variety of different types of cardboard and paper can be easily recycled. Paper can’t decompose properly in a landfill so place it in the skip or recycling bin.

Domestic waste includes all kinds of household waste. If you can’t find a way to reuse some of your unwanted belongings Solowaste will be able to assist you.

Home furnishings such as furniture, computers chairs or microwaves can all be disposed of in your Solowaste skip. Mattresses are chargeable on skips so please ring ahead before booking.

What can’t go in your skip

Exposure to asbestos dust particles is incredibly dangerous. To keep our customers and crew safe we do not allow asbestos in our skips.

As well as releasing harmful emissions into the atmosphere food waste can also damage your other waste and prevent Solowaste from recycling it.

Large electricals such as PC monitors, microwaves and laptops can be removed by Solowaste on request. If you have any questions about what to put in your skip please call us on 01322 303080.

Please avoid putting any clinical or medical waste into your skip as this could put our staff at risk.

Mattresses and other large objects can be collected by Solowaste for an additional charge. Please let us know when booking a skip if you are disposing of any of these items.

Under no circumstance can you put any form of tyres in your Solowaste skip. Tyres can be disposed of both at your local recycling plant and certain body shops.

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