A WEEE Article

Today, I have finally had my weee collected. No not wee, that would be strange. WEEEWaste Electrical and Electronic Equipment. It has been a surprisingly difficult challenge. In hind sight getting my wee collected would have been easier. But the WEEE has gone, and I am thrilled.


Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment; WEEE

I have been collecting all WEEE that I have been unable to organise recycling of locally for a while. This is essentially all waste I generate that is not cardboard, rubble, fluorescent tubes or wire. The long list of waste includes lighting transformers, old consumer units, failed fans, switches and sockets, contactors and connectors, circuit boards, relays, light fittings (or luminaire), and other electronic and electrical parts that I have changed during my work. To the best of my knowledge and research, there is no company within or near to Macclesfield that will happily take all these items away and ensure that they will be recycled. Its quite easy to find companies close by that advertise WEEE collections, but unfortunately they are quite specific in what they want. Usually old IT equipment, which can be repaired, cleaned up and sold on to a new life. My WEEE will not get the same happier fate.

The WEEE I have generated has been sent to a company ,Wiser Recycling, that aims for zero landfill. This should mean that almost all the waste I have generated through my electrical work will be recycled. This is great, and I am thrilled about it. I love what I do. I like making my customers homes safer, more enjoyable to live in, as well as fixing and improving machines. However in an effort to be more productive and efficient I do wonder about the environmental cost. Hopefully ensuring that my WEEE is correctly recycled I am now doing the best that I can to ensure that the energy that has been put into the materials is not wasted in landfill but can go on to form new products for myself and others to install.

The old rope ain’t broke?

I Like expressions. I think they are a fun way of communicating. I’m sure you will here them from me from time to time. However, there are two in particular I have come to dislike more and more over time; “It ain’t broke don’t fix it”, and “Testing is money for old rope”.

Both of these have cropped up while either repairing an electrical installation, or testing an installation. Usually accompanied, by “it was working before”, or “been that way for years”. I agree I’m sure it has been, but that does not mean it is either right, or more importantly, SAFE. Customers that I have worked for many times know how fussy I can be about getting to the cause of a problem. Sometimes it can be quite tedious, occasionally it can be very obvious. But my patience usually pays off, and I discover why even though the rope might not look broke, I find that it might be far from safe.

Electrical installations are all based on specifications and standards. Unfortunately, the electricity, or electrical energy, likes to whizz around quite fast to turn on that light or electric shower. It doesn’t give two hoots about these specifications or standards. It will happily use speaker cable to switch that light on, or damaged cable to get the shower hot. Neither of which will be to the correct specification, or standard.

So, are you sure your old rope ain’t broke? Why don’t I test it to find out? After all. Its your safety that I am thinking of.

Speaker wire light

Speaker wire light

Wasting Away

When I change consumer units, such as this. Where it is old, damaged and no longer fit for the purpose it was designed it must be disposed of. I am keen on recycling. I have been for years. I was saving up my plastic milk bottles and more to take to the collection point for years before I welcomed the Grey Bin into my household. I have been doing my best to ensure I carry this philosophy on within my work, to get rid of all the rubbish I generate properly. Old CU WasteToday, I finally got around to registering officially as a waste carrier and dealer, which is apparently what I am (as well an an Electrician of course). It has cost £154 which gives me this licence for the next 3 years. It was tricky to find the link to Register or renew as a waste carrier, broker or dealer  but I got there in the end. So, I cannot receive a telling off now for doing what I have been doing anyway, moving the odd bit of rubble and old electrical bits. Next on my hit list is to find a better way, less intensive way, of recycling the waste to ensure as much of it as possible gets recycled. After all, it can take 200 Tons of copper ore to produce 1 tonn of copper!


1st post

Ponder ponder, electrical ponder..


I really hate This Page Under Construction pages. So this is a pictures of some tools I use for fixing control panels instead.