WEEE no hassle for computer powerhouse

12 Jul 2005

As Irish firms brace themselves for the implementation of the new EU law on electronics and computer recycling next month, Europe’s largest IT firm says it is ready – and has been for 15 years or more.

One month before companies are required by the EU Waste, Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive to accept the return of computer and electronic waste, Fujitsu Siemens has revealed it has been running its own in-house highly successful recycling scheme since the late Eighties at its own recycling centre in Paderborn, Germany.

“Companies slow in gearing up for this directive are now under enormous time pressure and are forced to pay dearly for expertise,” explained Peter Esser, executive vice-president Volume Products & Supply Operations at Fujitsu Siemens Computers. “We profit from the fact that we developed a universal environmental protection concept for the entire product lifecycle in the early 1990s and systematically applied it.”

From 13 August 2005, all manufacturers and importers in the EU will be obliged to take back waste electrical equipment, and EU member states have consequently adopted national WEEE legislation. Germany, for example, passed ElektroG (the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act), in March. The legislation calls for the reuse and recycling rates to reach at least 75pc by the end of 2006. The Fujitsu Siemens recycling centre, which has been taking back and recycling used systems since 1988, already achieves a recycling rate of 98pc.

Working closely with its experts in Paderborn, Fujitsu Siemens Computers has signed contracts with local logistics and recycling partners in the various countries. The central recycling centre will, in addition, handle equipment from business customers.

By Brian Skelly