Waste electrical and electronic equipment
Published (reviewed and quality assured)
Justification for indicator selection
Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is currently considered to be one of the fastest-growing waste streams. WEEE contains a number of hazardous substances and at the same time valuable materials. The revised EU WEEE Directive (2012/19/EU) sets out measures to reduce generation of WEEE, and enhance collection, reuse, recycling and recovery, applying producer responsibility as key implementing mechanism. The indicator therefore monitors both how much WEEE is collected compared to the electric and electronic equipment put on the market (as an indication for the collection effectivity) and compares the collection amounts against the collection target in the WEEE Directive, and the progress towards reuse and recycling of this waste.
- No rationale references available
The indicator shows the amount of WEEE that has been put on the market, collected in total, collected from private households and reused and recycled in European countries, stated in kg/capita. The figures are related to the collection target of 4 kg/capita/year. Development over time is shown for WEEE collected from households and WEEE reused and recycled.
kg / cap / year
Policy context and targets
Separate collection of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and its subsequent recovery and treatment in an environmentally sound manner help achieve not only reduction of environmental impacts, but also better resource efficiency. In order to address these issues, the EC Directive 2002/96/EC (WEEE Directive) introduced producer responsibility for WEEE and set a target for collection of WEEE as well as targets for recovery and for reuse and recycling. The revised WEEE Directive (2012/19/EU), published in July 2012, sets more ambitious targets for collection based on the weight of electric and electronic equipment (EEE) put on the market, defines staged recovery and recycling targets and extends the scope of EEE covered by the regulation.
Collection targets according to WEEE Directive 2002/6/EC:
- Collection target for WEEE from private households of 4 kg / cap / year, to be achieved by each EU Member State (according to WEEE Directive 2002/96/EC)
New collection targets laid down in the recast WEEE Directive (2012/19/EU) (with options for derogations for Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia):
- Until 31 December 2015, a rate of separate collection of at least 4 kilograms on average per inhabitant per year of WEEE from private households or the same amount of weight of WEEE as was collected in that Member State on average in the three preceding years, whichever is greater, shall continue to apply.
- From 2016, the minimum collection rate shall be 45 % calculated on the basis of the total weight of WEEE collected in accordance with Articles 5 and 6 in a given year in the Member State concerned, expressed as a percentage of the average weight of EEE placed on the market in the three preceding years in that Member State.
- From 2019, the minimum collection rate to be achieved annually shall be 65 % of the average weight of EEE placed on the market in the three preceding years in the Member State concerned, or alternatively 85 % of WEEE generated on the territory of that Member State.
Reuse, recycling, recovery targets according to WEEE Directive 2002/96/EC:
- By 31 December 2006, manufacturers and importers were to achieve, for treated WEEE, recovery targets of 70–80 % differentiated for the respective categories of EEE, as well as material and substance reuse and recycling targets of 50–75 % depending on the category.
Recovery targets according to Art. 11 of the recast WEEE Directive (2012/19/EU):
- recovery targets of 70-85% , and reuse and recycling targets of 50-80% differentiated for the respective categories of EEE
Related policy documents
Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) Directive 2012/19/EU
The objective of the Directive is to promote re-use, recycling and other forms of recovery of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in order to reduce the quantity of such waste to be disposed and to improve the environmental performance of the economic operators involved in the treatment of WEEE. The WEEE Directive sets criteria for the collection, treatment and recovery of waste electrical and electronic equipment. The Directive is a recast of Directive 2002/96/EC. ( http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:197:0038:0071:EN:PDF)
Waste electrical and electronic equipment Directive (2002/96/EC)
The objective of the Directive is to promote re-use, recycling and other forms of recovery of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in order to reduce the quantity of such waste to be disposed and to improve the environmental performance of the economic operators involved in the treatment of WEEE. The WEEE Directive sets criteria for the collection, treatment and recovery of waste electrical and electronic equipment. (This Directive will be repealed with effect from 15 February 2014). Revised version: 2012/19/EU
Methodology for indicator calculation
In order to calculate the per capita value for the four data types each data type was divided by the numbers of inhabitants for each country and multiplied with 1000 to convert tonnes into kg.
Methodology for gap filling
No gap filling was applied
No methodology references available.
EEA data references
- No datasets have been specified here.
External data references
Data sources in latest figures
Data sets uncertainty
For 2006 data on total WEEE collection and WEEE collection from households is available for only 22 EEA countries. Information on total reuse and recycling of WEEE is available for 19 EEA countries.
For 2008 data on total WEEE collection is available for 27 EEA countries and WEEE collection from households is available for 27 EEA countries. Information on total reuse and recycling of WEEE is available for 26 EEA countries.
Please note that figures for Italy and for Bulgaria are changed compared to figures available at Eurostat: Bulgaria reported 10 times more WEEE collected than EEE put on the market in 2008, and Italy reported a higher amount of WEEE collected only from households. However, more reliable data from the quality reports the countries submitted to Eurostat were obtained and these were used in the indicator. In Figure 1, the data on EEE put on market reported by the Netherlands to Eurostat has been removed as they were reported in a non-comparable format. According to the information provided by the country in the quality report submitted to Eurostat it was a combination of pieces of items and tonnage.
Not relevant since the indicator matches the definition of the European Commission.
Short term work
Work specified here requires to be completed within 1 year from now.
Long term work
Work specified here will require more than 1 year (from now) to be completed.
Responsibility and ownership
EEA Contact InfoAlmut Reichel
Frequency of updates
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
PDF generated on 21 Dec 2014, 03:00 PM