June 10, 2013
The report, commissioned by HP and prepared by 360 Environmental, states that the Matching Process is one of four options the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills WEEE Consultation Paper has set out to meet EU targets; and would see e-waste collection sites being matched to compliance schemes, saving the country up to £64 million ($99.5 million/€75.2 million) each year if chosen by the UK Government’s WEEE consultation, according to the report.
HP says that Matching Process would be the best option for the IT sector and local authorities, with the report indicating that doing nothing would cause an excessive cost of £60 million ($93.2 million/€70.5 million) for businesses, while Option 2, to implement a National Producer Compliance Scheme, creates the biggest long-term cost of between £69 million ($107.2 million/€81 million) and £444 million ($690 million/€522 million) per year for producers, based on other experiences in the EU. It adds that Option 3, a target and compliance fee system, would cut red tape, but not to the same degree as Option 4’s Matching Process, with annual savings of between £11 million ($17 million/€13 million) and £26 million ($40.4 million/€30.5 million).
HP’s Dr Kirstie McIntyre said: “The current UK WEEE System has led to excessive costs to UK business. The Government has stated that it is determined to cut these costs through its Red Tape Challenge. This report shows that Option 4: the Matching Process provides the best option to cut red tape, saving between £35 million ($54.4 million/€41 million) and £64 million each year. Widespread experience from other EU countries underlines the advantages of Option 4.”
McIntyre listed the benefits Matching Process would bring to Local Authorities, including “greater flexibility and choice” compared to the current system and the ability to support “efforts to increase collection”, with collectors of WEEE given the opportunity to “choose by waste stream, between a producer collection scheme or managing WEEE collection independently and retaining the value of this WEEE”.
360 Environmental’s Phil Conran, the author of the report, said: “Option 3 potentially allows a risk that excessive costs could remain. Within Option 3 it is possible for costs to continue both through the auctioning of collection sites to producer compliance schemes, and through the effective trading of evidence. Without effective control, these would both cause a proportion of the excessive costs and red tape to remain.”
He continued: “The Compliance Fee is likely to contribute towards additional margins that we have not been able to model in this report. For example, the Compliance Fee could be used as a benchmark for trading prices and could therefore become the de facto base cost of compliance. Compliance schemes wishing to sell evidence via direct contractual arrangements will know that they will only need to provide a marginal discount to this base price. This could further limit the reduction of red tape costs.”
The Recycler reported in May that both electronic manufacturers and the Joint Trade Association welcomed the government’s WEEE consultation, with both groups asserting that change to WEEE legislation is needed in the UK and Matthew King, Head of Waste Management at Hertfordshire County Council, favouring Options 3 and 4 due to the flexibility they would give to Local Authorities.
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