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#145299 - 04/06/06 01:06 AM EU Directive WEEE
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
It's the Waste Electrical and Electronics Directive.


Now folks, I don't want an EU bashing response here, it's everyone to blame here.
But it has been announced here in New Zealand that people in the EU that send gear over to places like here will be responsible for the disposal of the refuse once that lighting tube or what have you wears out.
That is OK if you are in the UK or Ireland, it's just tacked onto the cost of buying it in the first place.
The majority of our gear in NZ comes from Europe, the majority of our companies having been bought out by rich European companies like Schnieder, or worse by the Chinese, who won't recognise any refuse whatsoever.
We will end up here in New Zealand, just like we did after the PCB event here, all talk and 20 years later a large dump of them just waiting.
Your thoughts?.
Everyone seems to be accusing everyone else.
It's time someone stood up!!.
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#145300 - 04/06/06 06:08 AM Re: EU Directive WEEE
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
 Quote:
Now folks, I don't want an EU bashing response here,

Aw... That takes all the fun out of it!

Seriously though, I'm not quite sure I've grasped the details. Do you mean the New Zealand govt. is saying that the European manufacturers should take back the junked equipment at the end of its service life?

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#145301 - 04/06/06 06:48 AM Re: EU Directive WEEE
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Paul,
 Quote:
Seriously though, I'm not quite sure I've grasped the details. Do you mean the New Zealand govt. is saying that the European manufacturers should take back the junked equipment at the end of its service life?

Nope, that is what the EU are saying, but no doubt the costs of that will be passed on to the final user, eh?.
It is after all an EU Directive.
Things like fluorescent lamps, etc could be coming back to thier places of manufacture.
However, I'd like to see if the Chinese subscribe to that same Directive.

At the end of the day, European Electrical gear will price itself off the market here in favour of non-EU countries, like China.
Good going guys, shoot yourselves in the foot!.

[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 04-06-2006).]
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#145302 - 04/06/06 09:08 AM Re: EU Directive WEEE
Alan Belson Offline
Member

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 1801
Loc: Mayenne N. France
Yes, we Europeans are creating far too much weee. I blame the Belgians! The Eu Commission, [under their leader, Ivor E. Towers], now places the onus on Member States to pass legislation based on 1500 pages of unreadable gobbledegook, to reduce the amount of weee. Thus, in one stroke, closing any viable electrical manufacturing facilities that have survived the torrents of previous crack-pot ideas. Weee must be reduced by at least 25%, and the reduced weee that is produced must be disposed of by recyling, composting, or gently burning in giant incinerators sited next to the banana-straightening factories. Private households are not required to reprocess their weee of course, ( Right to Weee Directive), and Non-member States will not have to control their weee either, so the US, China and NZ can weee where they like. Good news for the French. Since nothing applies to them, they can continue to weee in the streets as usual. Any stray transformers, refrigerator doors, washing machine motors etc. will thus still be available for use as ammo to throw at gendarmes in the bi-weekly strikes.


Alan
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#145303 - 04/07/06 01:51 AM Re: EU Directive WEEE
djk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
It doesn't apply to EU exports. It does however apply to ALL electrical / electronic goods sold IN EUROPE. It has absolutely no impact on NZ unless, the NZ government is deciding to follow the EU in an attempt to reduce electrical waste.

Regardless of where the product comes from, if you want to sell it in Europe, it'll have to comply with recyclability legislation.. various toxic substances have been banned etc

The Irish government somehow got it backwards though. They're supposed to charge the supplier / manufacturer, however, we've just added an extra charge payable at the till instead. So, yet again, the consumer pays!

Sounds like the NZ government has decided that the manufacturer must pay for recycling / disposal costs.

[This message has been edited by djk (edited 04-07-2006).]

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#145304 - 04/07/06 04:14 AM Re: EU Directive WEEE
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
 Quote:
Nope, that is what the EU are saying, but no doubt the costs of that will be passed on to the final user, eh?.
It is after all an EU Directive.


That Commissioner Ivor E. Towers in Brussels may think he has the power to order the whole world around, but since when are EU directives applicable or enforceable in New Zealand?

As Dave said, the EU has dictated that the manufacturers must recycle junked goods within the EU, but surely any such requirement in N.Z. would be down to Wellington?

That's not to say that the requirement isn't going to drive up the prices you pay for imported European appliances though, so I see that side of the issue.

I'm inclined to look at why we have such growing mountains of scrap in the first place. The problem (or at least part of it) is that appliances are not expected to be kept in service that long anymore. So much has become "throw away" rather than being repaired if it develops a fault.

Years ago almost every town of any size had a radio/TV repair shop. They've all gone, because the economics make them unviable. When Asda (supermarket chain) is selling Chinese TV sets at £49.95 and VCR's at £29.95, nobody is going to pay to have them repaired, even if they are repairable.

The cost of purchasing the gear is a fraction of what it used to be, while the amounts which would have to be charged for repair to make such a business viable have gone up (in no small part due to the over-bearing regulations on business and the extortionate tax rises).

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#145305 - 04/09/06 08:04 AM Re: EU Directive WEEE
djk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
Paul,

To be fair to the EU Commission, they sort of do have a point. As you've said we've mountains of waste electrical / electronic material being disposed of every year. Cheaper manufacturing etc is definitely producing more waste. At the very least this new directive provides an insentive for manufacturers to make their products fully recyclable. They have to be designed so that they can be dismantled by a recycling plant and the components recovered.

Something has to be done about it that's for sure. You've got people junking all sorts of machinery that would have been repaired in the past.

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#145306 - 04/10/06 05:09 AM Re: EU Directive WEEE
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
 Quote:
You've got people junking all sorts of machinery that would have been repaired in the past.


For sure. And some of the TVs, VCRs, computer monitors, etc. which go as scrap these days might have nothing more wrong with them than a faulty capacitor or a dry joint.
Encouraging recycling of old equipment is fine, but perhaps some other approaches would also help:

1. Raise the minimum construction standards for equipment so that we're not selling cheap garbage that isn't worth repairing.

2. Slap a restriction on the Chinese garbage that's flooding the market, although #1 might already take care of that.

3. Reduce the bureaucratic and tax burden of running a repair business, thus giving an incentive for repairs which will help to reduce the junk pile by keeping equipment in service for longer.

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#145307 - 04/10/06 10:13 AM Re: EU Directive WEEE
Belgian Offline
Member

Registered: 10/10/02
Posts: 177
Loc: antwerp
Here this law is already active about a year. They call it Recupel and yes it's the consumer who foots the bill. Alan, you're completely right by saying that us Belgians are to blame and that we are world's leading experts on shooting itself on the foot! We are specialised in inventing new taxes and charges every year. Every minister here invents a tax!

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#145308 - 04/10/06 05:38 PM Re: EU Directive WEEE
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Whoa!!.
{Foot firmly in mouth}
Had I read the whole article properly, I would have got the gist of what the author was saying.
Pretty much it was saying that the effects of the EU requiring the return of used Electrical and Electronics gear (mainly lighting components), would be that we could expect to pay an overall higher price for goods imported from EU countries to take into account the manufacturers costs across the board.
Sorry about the rants and so forth.
Just reading that article, (which was in the Feb-April issue of Electrolink magazine), this whole idea of sending things back to the maker for recycling or disposal is probably not a bad idea, but even with things like Fluorescent tubes and ballasts, for example, how cost effective would it actually be to seperate the materials and make new product from them, as opposed to new materials?.
I totally agree Paul, I think there really needs to be a good look taken at why we are un-necessarily generating this waste.
Merely calling it part of the "Throw-away Society" is just a cop-out in my opinion.
In our race to be more technologically advanced, the world has forgotten where it once was.
It wasn't that long ago, that you only threw out an appliance or what have you, if it had been fixed so many times that a further repair was impossible.
Electronic gear seems to have a "Use By" date not unlike a bottle of milk these days.
And of course, there are those that merely throw something out, because they've bought something better.
These are the people that should be being penalised.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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