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Giving away Computers, etc

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Tuesday 7 March 2006 2.35pm

Am I reading the WEEE directive correctly, it states that it can be retrospective.

We are giving away to schools and charities various hard-drives, screens and keyboards, does this mean that when they want to dispose of them that we will be liable?

Any advice would be appreciated.


Wednesday 8 March 2006 12.13pm
The short and simplistic answer is your organisation could be liable in theory, but you can protect yourself by making it a condition of the donation that liability passes to the donee organisation.

A couple of other points to consider:

Are you a business end user of computer products, or a manufacturer ? Was the equipment brought before 13 August 2005 ?

If you are an end user, you have primary responsibility for the collection, treatment and recycling of computer units purchased prior to 13 August 2005.

Where equipment is purchased post 13 August, primary responsibility for such recycling passes to the manufacturer. However, the UK implementation of the law has a loophole which allows manufacturers to pass this burden onto the people who buy their products under their standard terms and conditions. So even after 13 August 2005, you will need to check whether the contract for the equipment you have bought passes the liabilities back to your organisation.

To answer your actual question, most of the major organisations who accept donated computers (like Computer Aid) take on (as a matter of contract) all future legal liabilities for the items when they are handed over, so you wouldn't need to be worried about retrospective liability.

It will be more of an issue for you if you donate to smaller, local groups. However, again, you could agree as a condition of the donation that they will be responsible for all legal liabilities in connection with the equipment in future.

Wednesday 8 March 2006 2.19pm
Thank you for your assistance, we are an end user and have been given the computers away to some small organisations, we will try and get in writing that they agree to take on the legal liabilities.

Again thanks
Thursday 9 March 2006 10.47am
Jacy - are you looking for more donors/recipients? Do you want to be in touch directly? Are you based locally?



Giles Semper
Deputy CEO
Better Bankside
020 7928 3998
[email protected]
Thursday 9 March 2006 12.42pm

Have spoken to our IT person, at present he hasn't any but maybe in a couple of months. His excuse is that he has only the time to wipe 2 hard drives a week.

Will contact you in due course if anything comes up.

All the best


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