Smoke Detector Disposal

How does WEEE affect you?

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) controls the way old electrical equipment is disposed of, reducing waste and promoting recycling.

It is designed to:

  • Tighten up the treatment of waste, removing hazardous materials.
  • Drive recycling versus waste.
  • Make producers accountable for financing the safe disposal of old electrical and electronic equipment.

All participants in the supply chain are affected:

  • Manufacturers.
  • Distributors.
  • Fire and Security Companies.
  • Facility Management Companies.
  • Installers.
  • WEEE Processors.

It is your liability to take WEEE items back

Smoke detectors are radioactive and must be pre-treated, with the radioactive element removed BEFORE they are disposed of via a WEEE route: 

  • Avoids contamination of waste sites.
  • Prevents radioactive materials entering recycled metals.
  • Safe disposal is achievable only when radioactives are removed.
  • Only once the radioactive element is removed may a WEEE disposal route be used.

What are the implications for you?

  • There is a legally binding requirement to dispose of smoke detectors safely to an approved disposal facility.
  • Pre-treatment is NOT covered by take back schemes, so it is chargeable.
  • The radioactive element must be safely removed prior to disposal.
  • It is your liability to take WEEE items back and return them to each individual manufacturer or Permitted facility.
    • Individual smoke detector makes and models need to be segregated.
    • Storage facilities must be approved and Permitted due to the radioactive element.
    • Transport of smoke detectors to each individual manufacturer needs to be in accordance with government regulations, in bespoke packaging using approved transport carriers where appropriate.