Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)

Repairing, refurbishing and storing WEEE


If you repair or refurbish waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) you may need a pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit, waste management licence or a registered waste exemption. You must have the relevant permit, licence or exemption before you carry out this activity.

Storing WEEE for reuse, treatment or recovery elsewhere

You can register an exemption from waste management licensing to collect and store up to 80 cubic metres of each of several types of WEEE for up to three months before it is taken for recovery somewhere else. If you are storing fluorescent tubes the limit is 50 cubic metres. You must:

  • store it securely to avoid damage that may prevent its reuse or treatment
  • use a storage site with an appropriate weatherproof covering and impermeable surfaces, with a bund where necessary to stop hazardous substances from escaping
  • comply with the conditions of your exemption

You do not need to register an exemption for storing WEEE if you are:

  • a retailer taking part in an in-store take-back scheme for household WEEE
  • a business storing WEEE that you have produced

Crushing waste fluorescent tubes

If you crush fluorescent tubes before they are collected for recovery you may be able to register an exemption from waste management licensing if you:

  • crush up to three tonnes of waste in 24 hours
  • make sure the mercury concentration in emissions does not exceed 50 microgrammes per cubic metre
  • store the waste glass and mercury in secure containers under weatherproof covering

You must register this waste exemption with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA). You will need to renew the exemption every 12 months.

Repairing and refurbishing WEEE

If your business repairs or refurbishes certain WEEE you may be able to register an exemption from waste management licensing.

You can register for an exemption if you:

  • handle up to five tonnes of WEEE per day
  • store up to 80 cubic metres of WEEE, and no waste is stored for longer than 12 months
  • store dismantled parts carefully to prevent damage
  • store the components safely under waterproof covering and on impermeable surfaces
  • store hazardous waste in suitable containers

NIEA will need to inspect your business premises. They will charge you a fee to cover this cost.

You will need to renew your registration every year. The renewal fee is less than the registration fee.

If you want to treat five tonnes of WEEE or more per day you will need a PPC permit or a waste management licence.