Achieving 2016 WEEE Target Shows “System Works” – REPIC

Following the release of the Q4 Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) collection data, chief Executive of REPIC, the UK’s largest Producer Compliance Scheme, Mark Burrows-Smith, says the data proves the system is working well.

Data shows the collection target for WEEE has been met for 2016. However, targets for some streams, such as lamps and IT equipment, have been missed.

The data shows that a total tonnage of 581,415 tonnes of WEEE was collected throughout the year, over a target of 544,342 tonnes. This represents an overall growth in tonnages of 11% compared to 2015.

“The data proves that the system in working well and more WEEE is being captured in the WEEE system.”

Mark Burrows-Smith said: “It’s encouraging to see that the data for 2016 shows that the UK beat its collection target, and that overall collection levels of household WEEE rose by 11%.

“The data proves that the system in working well and more WEEE is being captured in the WEEE system.”

Commenting on the proposed 2017 WEEE Collection targets, prior to the Government finalising them at the end of March, he said the proposed 2017 collection targets are “challenging” – 9% increase on what has been collected in 2016. He said REPIC recognises the need to ensure the UK remains on track to meet future target increases.

“Targets need to be challenging yet realistic and reflective of what the UK consumer is likely to dispose of next year,” he said.

Battery Recycling

The latest figures show the UK has undershot its batteries target by 56 tonnes during Q4.

Mark Sayers, principal consultant at resource efficiency specialist Ecosurety, says the shortfall has come from smaller producers who have effectively added to the target, but who are not compelled to actively recycle their batteries.

He said: “Up to now the difference has been met by larger producers, but because the cost of recycling batteries has risen, larger producers through their schemes are recycling only enough to meet their obligation. This means they are no longer subsidising the small producers’ contribution.

They are simply buying back their obligations. This shift shows the batteries market is tightening, and that costs are increasing.

“We would urge the EA to look again at this unintended consequence of the Regulations to see if there is a way forward. The system is definitely working, it now needs a bit of tweaking so that the spirit of the legislation comes through.”

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