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The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive) aims to minimise the impact of electrical and electronic goods on the environment, by increasing re-use and recycling and reducing the amount of WEEE going to landfill. It seeks to achieve this by making producers responsible for financing the collection, treatment, and recovery of waste electrical equipment, and by obliging distributors to allow consumers to return their waste equipment free of charge.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive was agreed on 13 February 2003, along with the related Directive on Restrictions of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS).

Under the WEEE Regulations, all new electrical goods should now be marked with the crossed-out wheeled bin symbol shown below:

Goods are marked with this symbol to show that they were produced after 13th August 2005, and should be disposed of separately from normal household waste so that they can be recycled.

1) What are HiFi Headphones obligations according to the WEEE Directive?

As a distributor of WEEE HiFi Headphones, must facilitate the take-back of household WEEE from UK consumers and has decided to fulfill its obligations in this area by offering free in store take back. Distributors supplying new electrical or electrical equipment (EEE) have to ensure that waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) from private households can be returned to them free of charge on a one-to-one basis providing that the WEEE returned is of equivalent type to and has fulfilled the same function as the new EEE purchased. For example, an old pair of headphones can be returned when purchasing a new pair of headphones regardless of the brand and where the old one was originally purchased.

2) How do I return my WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment) to HiFi Headphones?

As soon as you have purchased a product from HiFi Headphones, please email with your order number, name, address and the WEEE product that you wish to return free of charge to us, to dispose of safely. We will then include a postage paid bag with your order, allowing you to return the WEEE product to us at a time convenient to yourself.

3) Are there any other ways of disposing of my old electronic equipment?

Yes, recycling facilities for WEEE waste are available locally to you.  You can find your local registered WEEE collection site by visiting the following site:

If your old electronic equipment works OK then why not give it away to charity or sell on eBay to earn a bit of extra cash.  In this way you will prolong the life of the electronic equipment and reduce the impact on the environment.

4) Which products fall under the legislation and how do I recognise them?

The WEEE Directive divides Electronic and Electrical Equipment into ten categories:

Category 1 - Large household appliances (fridges, cookers, microwaves, washing machines, etc.)
Category 2 - Small household appliances (vacuum cleaners, clocks, toasters, etc.)
Category 3 - IT and Telecommunications equipment (PCs, mainframes, printers, copiers, phones, etc.)
Category 4 - Consumer equipment (radios, hi-fi, musical instruments, videos, camcorders, etc.)
Category 5 - Lighting equipment (fluorescent tubes and holders, sodium lamps, etc.)
Category 6 - Electrical and electronic tools (drills, sewing machines, electric lawnmowers, etc.)
Category 7 - Toys, leisure and sports equipment (electric trains, games consoles, exercise machines, etc.)
Category 8 - Medical devices (analysers, dialysis machines, medical freezers, etc.)
Category 9 - Monitoring and control equipment (smoke detectors, thermostats, scales, etc.)
Category 10 - Automatic dispensers (hot drinks machines, sweet and chocolate bar dispensers, cash machines, etc.)