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Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

Electrical and electronic equipment – Information for private households

The Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act (ElektroG) contains a large number of requirements relating to dealing with electrical and electronic equipment. The most important of these are listed below.

1. Separate collection of WEEE
Electrical and electronic equipment that is past its useful life and is to be discarded is known as Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). Owners of WEEE are responsible for disposing of it at a special collection point separate from unsorted domestic waste. WEEE is not to be disposed of as household waste, but through a special collection and return system.

2. Batteries and rechargeable batteries.
Owners of WEEE have to remove any unenclosed batteries, regular or rechargeable, before handing the WEEE over to a collection point.

3. Options for returning WEEE
Owners of WEEE from private households can return this to collection points operated by the public waste-management authorities, or to take-back centres established by producers or distributors in accordance with ElektroG. An online directory of collection and take-back centres is available here:

4. Data protection
WEEE frequently contains sensitive personal data. This is particularly true for IT and telecommunications equipment such as computers and smartphones. In your own interests, please note that end users are responsible for deleting such data from equipment they are disposing of.

5. Importance of the "crossed-out garbage bin" symbol
The symbol of a crossed-out garbage bin frequently found on electrical and electronic equipment indicates that the particular piece of equipment, at the end of its working life, is to be collected separately from unsorted domestic waste.

6. Further information
We are members of the "take-e-back" retrieval system. You can find more information about this at

7. Note on waste prevention:
According to the provisions of Directive 2008/98/EU on waste and its implementation in the legislation of the Member States of the European Union, waste prevention measures generally take precedence over waste management measures. In the case of electrical and electronic equipment, waste prevention measures include, in particular, prolonging the service life of defective equipment by repairing it and disposing of used equipment in good working order instead of sending it for disposal. Further information can be found in the Federal Waste Avoidance Programme with the participation of the federal states:

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