U.K. announces wholesale changes to WEEE collection system

U.K. announces wholesale changes to WEEE collection system

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Oct. 17, 2013

The U.K. has announced it will revise the current collection system for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) to require producers to join a producer compliance program and meet government-designated collection goals each year.

Set to go into effect Jan. 1, 2014, the new system will be based on annual collection goals for producers, and those targets will be set by the U.K. government. Each individual goal will be a function of the producer's market share during the previous year as well as the country's WEEE collection goal set by the European Union. Failure to meet an assigned goal will result in a fine while any producer exceeding collection targets will be asked to cover the cost of recycling the additional end-of-use products on their own.

To assist the industry in reducing "red-tape," evidence will no longer be shared between compliance schemes.

Four options had been proposed to industry stakeholders during a formal consultation period. According to the government's report on consultation results, 95 percent of the 256 respondents listed the option chosen by the government as either their first or second choice.

The announcement received a significant show of support from the Joint Trade Association's Richard Hughes. While not overly keen on the changes, Hughes rallied behind the industry's overall support for the changes, vowing to stand behind the rollout of the new program: "Whilst not our most favoured option, in choosing option 3, the government has clearly listened carefully to the comments of the wide range of stakeholders which responded to the WEEE consultation. As the consensus option, we understand the decision and support it," Hughes told Waste Management World.

Stakeholders will have until Nov. 1 to provide further comment on the incoming regulations.

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