The much delayed Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive has come in effect in Britain as of 1 July.

The Europe-wide directive relates to electrical waste and sets a per person target of four kilograms of electrical waste to be recycled every year.

The new directive puts the onus on manufacturers and retailers to ensure that electrical waste is recycled.

Retailers selling electrical goods are now required to offer customers a free in-store take-back service on a "like for like" basis, or help fund the expansion of a network of WEEE collection points, likely run by local councils.

The new directive covers the following products:

• Large household appliances: fridges, freezers, microwave ovens, washing machines
• Small household appliances: vacuum cleaners, toasters, coffee machines, electric toothbrushes
• IT and telecommunications equipment: PCs, laptops, monitors, keyboards, printers, cordless phones
• Consumer equipment: radios, TVs, DVD players, video recorders etc
• Lighting equipment: low-energy Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) are classified as WEEE
• Electric tools: all tools such as drills, saws, sewing machines. Only large, stationary industrial tools are exempt
• Toys, sport and leisure equipment: electric trains, game consoles, cycle computers, etc
• Medical devices: implanted or infected products are exempt
• Monitoring and control devices: smoke alarms, thermostats, etc
• Automated devices: this classification covers all appliances that automatically deliver products, e.g., drinks, food, money, etc.