From January 14 WEEE compliance schemes will have to meet mandatory collection targets under new plans set out in the government’s response to the consultation on bringing the requirements of the recast WEEE Directive into UK law.
The consultation also asked how it could address concerns that the cost of compliance with the regulations did not reflect the actual cost of recycling.
The draft regulations were announced by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), which said that in implementing the WEEE Recast Directive, the government will:
- create a new category for photo-voltaic panels
- include LED lamp sources in category 13
- continue to research the use of “substantiated estimates” of WEEE arising outside the existing system
- continue to engage with stakeholders about a system incorporating more individual producer responsibility
“We will also introduce changes that will reduce regulatory burdens on business. These include introducing a system based on option 3 ‘target and compliance fee’, and removing the requirement for independent audits of treatment facilities,” the government said in a statement.
Dr Philip Morton, REPIC – “Option three was the most viable option from the outset and we very much support the added protection against producers having to fund a higher than true cost of recycling as well as the peace of mind that it provides to Local Authorities that 100 percent of WEEE will be collected regardless of any target”
Producers will be required to join a producer compliance scheme, unless they place less than five tonnes onto the market per year. Each compliance scheme will be given a tonnage target.
A number of options for the future of the WEEE system were outlined in the consultation that was launched in April. These included:
- Option 1: No change and continue with the current system
- Option 2: Introduce a National Producer Compliance Scheme, instead of competition between current compliance schemes
- Option 3: Setting targets for compliance schemes along with a compliance fee if these are not met, instead of the trading of WEEE evidence data between collection schemes
- Option 4: Matching collection sites to compliance schemes.
Dr Philip Morton, chief executive of REPIC, said: “REPIC welcomes the Government’s decision to progress with option three as it provides all stakeholders with a pragmatic and fair solution while addressing the majority of concerns we put forward regarding the current WEEE system in the UK. This is a positive new era for WEEE recycling.
“Option three was the most viable option from the outset and we very much support the added protection against producers having to fund a higher than true cost of recycling as well as the peace of mind that it provides to Local Authorities that 100 percent of WEEE will be collected regardless of any target.
“We look forward to working constructively with all stakeholders to achieve a smooth and timely transition.”
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