You must dispose of surplus electrical equipment in an environmentally friendly manner and in accordance with consumer protection requirements. Find out more about the purchase, use and disposal of all work equipment.
A flowchart (.pdf) provides an overview of how to dispose of University owned, surplus electrical equipment.
Under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations 2006, electrical and electronic waste must be disposed of responsibly and recycled where possible. This means that electrical or electronic equipment which cannot be repaired, is uneconomical to repair or is no longer wanted must not be put into landfill via normal waste bins. Equipment covered by these regulations will show a symbol, as shown on the right.
The means of disposal will depend on whether the item was purchased before or after 13 August 2005. See the University’s Waste and Recycling Policy for details. The Government provide information on environmental management waste regulations and retailer and distributor responsibilities.
How to dispose of items
For all campuses, contact the EMS Helpdesk
Reuse or resale of equipment
Electrical equipment which is no longer wanted but may be of value to others is subject to strict laws relating to the safety of goods under health and safety, consumer protection and product liability, as well as trading standards.
Electrical equipment, in a safe or defective condition, owned by the University must not be sold or given away free of charge. Printed, verbal or online advertisements for University equipment which is no longer wanted are also not permitted. This is because it is not possible to exclude liability under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 by means of any contract term or other provision. This in turn means the seller could be sued if a consumer or other person were injured as a result of defective equipment. Examples include unwanted computer or audio visual equipment, kitchen or workshop equipment.
Electrical equipment must either be responsibly disposed of according to WEEE Regulations or formally donated by the University to a registered charity. That organisation would then be legally responsible for the re-sale or use of donated equipment.
In exceptional circumstances, should a department or individual wish to sell equipment which is owned by the University for revenue purposes, they must seek professional advice on consumer protection requirements. They must contact the insurance office (firstname.lastname@example.org) to arrange appropriate product liability insurance and seek written approval to proceed from their Head of Department or person responsible for the equipment concerned.
Where electrical equipment may have a high value, either as a single item or collective items, contact the Central Procurement Unit who will advise whether and how any revenue might be generated or equipment potentially re-used by a third party. As a guide, a 'high value' would be an item/s worth around £5,000 or more or there may be an intrinsic rather than a financial value. As above, the same provisions for insurance and approval would apply.
Where an inventory of electrical equipment is kept, a note should be made of when equipment is disposed of. This will also help to ensure equipment which is no longer available is not included in future PAT arrangements. Records of maintenance, including test results, should preferably be kept for at least three years after the date when it is removed from the area or responsibly disposed of.
Disposal of personally-owned items
You have a number of ways to recycle unwanted electrical equipment:
- you can ask the retailer if they'll take products back
- you can take old appliances to the local civic amenity site
- you can arrange for your local authority to collect the equipment from your home (some local authorities provide a free collection service and others charge)
- you can arrange for an electrical retailer delivering new equipment to take away the unwanted one
If you need any other advice, staff should contact the EMS Helpdesk. Students should contact the Accommodation Office.