We can tell a lot about the future of waste electricals recycling in the UK from the government’s first quarter figures on WEEE collections.
The data, which was released earlier this month by the Environment Agency, shows that, in most categories of WEEE, collection volumes are up. Next to this, where volumes are falling that is usually down to product lightweighting and other technological advances, like flat screen TVs displacing the old-style cathode-ray-tube televisions.
The data is also informed by the introduction of the dual-use-interpretation in the UK, which has applied since 1 January 2015. This interpretation now means that where a product is assumed to be both B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer), it should be reported as B2C. In the long run, this change in the legislation should significantly boost recycling rates of waste electricals as more WEEE is considered dual use and reportable as B2C.
So, as a WEEE producer, what do you need to know?
- The Q1 tonnages show that the UK is on target to hit its end-of-year target for 2015. That’s good news because it means that the system is likely to be viewed by government as working.
- Recycling rates in general are increasing, which means the market is maturing nicely and the system is working. In social and environmental terms that’s a good thing.
- For some producers, the move over to compliance with B2C legislation could mean being required to finance a greater proportion of the costs associated with meeting household WEEE targets. Not great news, perhaps, but you are better off knowing now rather than getting a nasty surprise later on.
- Increased amounts of B2C EEE reported compared with the first quarter in 2014 is not only an indication of the dual use impacts, but also reflects the improving economic climate.
- Some producers may be able to reduce their 2016 obligation by netting off any EEE exports from quarterly reporting. If you do export, this will be worth investigating.
WEEE Man - representing the amount of WEEE the average household throws away in a lifetime
ecosurety welcomes contact from producers of EEE who would like to establish if they are still reporting correctly, and are therefore compliant, under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2013.
Please feel free to contact our WEEE compliance specialists on 0845 094 2228 for more information on reporting requirements.
James joined the compliance team in August 2012 and now holds the role of technical manager. He is responsible for managing all regulator requirements across packaging, WEEE and batteries compliance regulations, and for overseeing our WEEE and batteries collections. In particular, James takes an active interest in quality improvement both for clients' data methodologies and internally to improve business efficiency.
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