Recycling Company Prosecuted for Exporting Illegal WEEE Waste
Daniels recycling Ltd have pleaded guilty to exporting 187 tons of waste electrical and electronic equipment to Nigeria, Ghana and the Ivory Coast. They have been ordered to pay £130,000 in fines and costs.
Under the WEEE Directive, it is illegal to export electrical waste which is no longer working. Some countries won’t even accept items that do work. For example, India will not take in working Fridges anymore. It is therefore paramount as the original user to make sure you use a reputable WEEE recycler who can verify the end destination. You must also get the correct paperwork which must be completed accurately. Failure to do so can result in you being fined as well.
Within electrical waste there are many harmful elements. When these items are sent illegally abroad cheap labour is used to extra the precious metals. This is usually done my burning the items which then release all sorts of poisons. These poisons are inhaled by the labourers and also end up leaching into the ground, then the water table then into our food chain.
The Environment Agency (EA) is very wise now to the ways companies try to hide illegal waste in containers. One such method the criminals use is by packing the front of the container with legal working equipment and then hiding all the illegal items behind. The EA now make sure as many containers as possible are unpacked before shipping to catch these criminals out. Any suspicion what so ever, the items are sent off to an independent party like us to test and verify the equipment is safe to ship. I am sure though do to the pure scale of the amount of illegal waste being sent, not every container is stopped by the EA.