Defra has published proposed targets for 2019, signifying an overall collection target of 550,132 tonnes – an increase of circa 13,000 tonnes compared to the 2018 target.
A European Union obligation to collect equivalent to 65% of the weight of EEE placed on the market during the three previous years means a higher collections target is needed. The target has previously stood at 45%.
The proposals have been met with a positive response from the AATF Forum, which represents the UK’s WEEE processing sector.
“The AATF Forum welcomes the proposals put forward by Defra for the 2019 WEEE collection targets. We recognise that for some categories, these will be challenging, but we strongly believe that more must be done to ensure that household and commercial WEEE is properly treated through the AATF infrastructure and not allowed to leak out of the controlled system into unauthorised disposal routes such as illegal exports.
“Whilst we recognise the benefits of the compliance fee, we believe that more must be done to meet these targets through physical collections and not through use of the Compliance Fee. Members of the Forum will seek to work with producers, Producer Compliance Schemes and the regulators to identify and reduce illegal activity, increase collections and raise treatment standards.”
The use of a compliance fee and how it is administered is agreed annually. Companies that don’t meet their annual collection targets can comply with the 2013 WEEE Regulations by paying the compliance fee instead.
The UK Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations 2013 establish a system in which producers of equipment are required to finance the cost of collection, treatment, recovery and recycling of WEEE arising from private households.
If producer compliance schemes fail to meet individual targets they must pay into a compliance fee. This used to finance projects to boost future collections. This raised more than £8 million for 2017.
Defra said it hoped that funding from the WEEE fee would help to boost collections and could assist in meeting the higher target for 2019.
For the WEEE compliance fee document, click here