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By | Kelly Fiveash 29th June 2007 14:57

Waste computer edict finally hits UK

Charity says don't junk kit, send it to Africa instead

The long-awaited Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) directive finally comes into force on Sunday, 1 July.

Under the European directive, which came into UK law in January 2007, businesses will be expected to fully comply to ensure the safe, environmentally sound disposal of electronic and electrical waste.

Hefty fines could be imposed on those firms not adhering to the new regulations to junk IT kit responsibly.

Much controversy has surrounded the WEEE directive, with one trade group complaining that small IT businesses could be hit particularly hard by the costs associated with implementing the scheme.

In an attempt to help cool the boots of IT producers feeling the pinch, Computer Aid International, which supplies refurbished PCs to developing countries, said it has launched a new asset tracking and reporting service.

It said it hopes the incentive will help it to treble donations to meet demand for refurbished IT kit from schools and hospitals in the developing world.

The service it offers includes a free guide on the WEEE directive as well as a reporting system that tracks when each computer's data was wiped.

Donors will also be told which schools, hospitals or community project their PCs are benefiting.

"The directive gives businesses an unprecedented opportunity to help us provide some of the worlds' poorest communities with the computer skills they need to escape the poverty trap.

"We desperately need to increase donations to meet demand from African schools and hospitals and hope that businesses across the UK will realise that by partnering with Computer Aid they not only will become WEEE compliant but they can help stop over two million unwanted PCs going to waste," said the charity's CEO, Tony Roberts.

Computer Aid has more information here, and the DTI's guide is here. ®

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