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WEEE collection misses 2017 targets

March 5, 2018

Credit: CIWM Journal

The United Kingdom’s ambitions for WEEE collection last year proved unreachable, the Government has announced.

Defra, the British Government’s environmental department, has published statistics suggesting that the 2017 WEEE collection target was missed, and that compliance schemes are therefore awaiting a large compliance fee.

However, some compliance schemes are remaining unworried, according to Let’s Recycle, saying that the figures are “not necessarily disastrous” and that the country remains set to meet European Union targets, “once substantiated estimates are taken into account.”

Figures released show that overall, the target was missed by 14 percent, or nearly 100,000 tonnes. In the individual categories, every target but one (lighting equipment) was missed. Consumer equipment collection was 4 percent off the goal, whilst small household appliances and large household appliances missed it by 5 percent and 18 percent respectively.

As a result, compliance schemes that failed to meet their individual obligation must pay a fee on the difference; this will be calculated by the average cost of collection, multiplied by the distance from the target. The fee will then go back into supporting WEEE initiatives, such as supporting local authorities and promotional campaigns.

Some figures, such as John Redmayne, the Managing Director of the European Recycling Platform, are claiming that the drop in collections is actually due to the fact that “less EEE is being put on the market.”

Mark Burrows-Smith, the CEO of Repic, a WEEE compliance scheme agreed, saying that it was “unsurprising” that the rate of WEE production was falling; there was a 10 percent decrease in the total amount of EEE placed on the market in 2017.

Others are claiming that the drop in tonnage collected is due to lighter products being produced, and differences in the way that WEEE is defined and recorded by regulators. Illegal exports also play a part, according to some.

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