The disposal of used electronic devices has been a major issue in the European Union for a number of years. The EU has thus adopted two pieces of legislation to deal with the problem: the WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) and RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) directives. WEEE, which began to take effect on August 13, 2005, requires European manufacturers to accept returns of old equipment. The basic goal is to limit volumes of waste going into landfills by setting up collection schemes and encouraging recycling and reuse of materials. RoHS went into force in mid-2006, prohibiting the use of substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and brominated flame retardants. For more detailed and up-to-date information about WEEE and RoHS, see the European Commission website.
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