£5.6 million of support available for WEEE recyclers and charities as a new awareness campaign targeting household WEEE is launched
The WEEE Fund has recently launched two new initiatives aimed at supporting the WEEE recycling sector and boosting collections of waste electricals:
The first initiative was launched at the end of April, with the WEEE Support Grants and Loans Package announced to help support the electrical waste reuse and recycling sector as a result of the impact of the coronavirus.
This is in recognition of the fact that during the COVID-19 crisis many household recycling centres are closed and other collection methods have been reduced, resulting in a reduced flow of waste for recyclers.
The funding provides £5 million of interest-free loans to registered commercial Approved Authorised Treatment Facilities (AATFs), based on the evidence they issued in 2019. Applications are open until the end of May 2020, with applicants required to email email@example.com to request an application form.
A further £0.6 million of grants have also been made available to charity sector reuse organisations, with the application process due to be confirmed shortly.
Recycle your electricals launched at the beginning of May, a UK-wide awareness campaign encouraging and supporting more people to reuse and recycle their old electricals, saving precious resources from being lost forever.
Through a dedicated website and social media activity it aims to educate the public about the value of WEEE, how to prepare them for recycling and most importantly where to recycle with a new WEEE recycling point online search tool.
The campaign will also launch two rounds of funding over the next year to support organisations that make the recycling of WEEE more accessible.
Compliance Fee funds
The funding for the loans, grants and awareness campaign has all originated from the Compliance Fee, a mechanism available to government that enables compliance schemes to meet their recycling obligation on behalf of EEE producers when there is not enough recycling evidence available for them to purchase.
A tonnage shortfall would ordinarily mean non-compliance, but the Compliance Fee exists in recognition that there is not enough WEEE recycling evidence available to meet current UK obligations.
This has been a consistent problem, with the WEEE collection target missed for three years running. To date, the WEEE Fund has collected well over £10 million which has been made available to support a range of activities including technical research, communications, behaviour change activities and local projects.
Help weather the storm
Head of policy at Ecosurety, Robbie Staniforth, commented “It is pleasing to see the WEEE Fund have managed to get funding to the treatment sector at such a vital time. We provided input and strongly advocated these measures throughout the design process. We hope it helps treatment facilities and the reuse sector weather the current storm so they are ready for the potential surge in WEEE, once recycling centres become fully operational again."
“The recycling awareness campaign from the WEEE Fund looks particularly impressive. Clearly a great degree of thought has gone into the design, which goes some way towards justifying the wait for release."
"The average person probably doesn’t realise the different options available to them for the safe disposal of electrical equipment for recycling. The Recycle Your Electricals campaign certainly has the potential to address the knowledge gap. We look forward to supporting where we can and seeing the result in a few months’ time.”
Marketing projects specialist
Ben joined the team at the beginning of 2015 and helps drive marketing communications and projects for Ecosurety, including project managing the launch of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund and website content development.