E-waste for short – or Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) – is the term used to describe old, end of- life or discarded appliances using electricity. It includes computers, consumer electronics, fridges etc which have been disposed of by their original user.

“Electronic waste” or “E-Waste” may be defined as discarded computers, office electronic equipment, entertainment device electronics, mobile phones, television sets, and refrigerators. This includes used electronics which are destined for reuse, resale, salvage, recycling, or disposal. Others are reusable (working and repairable electronics) and secondary scrap (copper, steel, plastic, etc.) to be “commodities”, and reserve the term “waste” for residue or material which is dumped by the buyer rather than recycled, including residue from reuse and recycling operations, because loads of good are frequently commingled several public policy advocates apply the term “e-waste” broadly to all surplus electronics

Debate continues over the distinction between “commodity” and “waste” electronics definitions. Some exporters are accused of deliberately leaving difficult-to- recycle, obsolete, or non-repairable equipment mixed in loads of working equipment (though this may also come through ignorance, or to avoid more costly treatment processes). Protectionists may broaden the definition of “waste” electronics in order to protect domestic markets from working secondary equipment.