Oxford University Libraries say chuck out your crap
Quick, the WEEE directive is coming!
A memo reaches Vulture Towers from Oxford University Library Services (OULS) warning that the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment(WEEE) regulations are soon to come into force.
D-Day for the WEEE regulations is 1 July and will govern how we can dispose of all types of electrical hardware.
But this is more than a heads-up on new legislation and more a call to action. The memo starts: "Have you any old bits of electrical equipment lying about your department?"
"If so, now is the time to dispose of any old or surplus or electronic and electrical equipment because after 1 July 2007 it becomes unlawful to dispose of non-hazardous equipment in normal waste streams."
We can see what the university is doing here, but it is not really in the spirit of the time - this week is Recycling Now Week. We appreciate that even the ivory towers of Oxford have budget restrictions, but wasn't there a better way to deal with this? Especially because the WEEE rules put a lot of responsibility for recycling on the producers of equipment.
For anyone who's missed the meaning of this missive, the final line makes it clear: "The message is - get rid of any unwanted electrical and electronic equipment before the end of June 2007."
For any Reg readers in the Oxford area, we recommend you steer clear of any university library bins and the river Isis in the near future.
You can see the whole memo here (Word doc).
A spokesman for University Services said we'd misunderstood the letter and there was a university-wide policy for responsible rubbishing of electronic equipment.
OULS is responsible for all the university's libraries, including the Bodleian.
Let us know how you are dealing with the changing regulations by clicking on the byline at the top of the story, or let the world know by posting a Reader Comment below. ®
Thank you to the Reg reader who passed us the email.
RE: Mark Fenton's idiocy
Yes, getting manufacturers to become responsible for environmentally sound disposal is stupid. Because all it does is - at a low cost increase to the consumer - avoid all the toxic effects of pcb and other hazardous materials leaching from disposed electrical items into our soil and water table. Oh, and as manufacturer's have to face up to waste costs, makes them more aware of the real cost of the parts they put in. So it cuts down on toxic pollutants, means you don't have to source the environmental option yourself, and at a cheap rate to boot.
EU stupidity eh? Our stupidity more like.
Mark Fenton commented that the new WEEE regulations are an indictment of EU stupidity.
I'd suggest it is us, and our extremely wasteful attitude that is stupid. The WEEE rules will mean people will have to reappraise their old irresponsibly profligate ways.
For clarity: the Directive indeed came into force on January 1st, but enforcement will only begin on July 1st. Six months for everyone to get up to speed.
More EU Stupidity
I think this is more an indictment on the stupid laws that the EU gives us rather than the common sense attitude being display by Oxford...
"For any Reg readers in the Oxford area, we recommend you steer clear of any university library bins and the river Isis in the near future."
Ooh I don't know I'd suggest the opposite... there's probably going to be all sorts of interesting stuff kicking about in those bins.