WEEE compliance schemes will be subject to mandatory collection targets from January 2014 under plans to overhaul the way that producers of electronic goods pay for the treatment of waste electricals.
The measures were announced by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in its response to the consultation on bringing the requirements of the recast WEEE Directive into UK law and to address concerns from producers that the cost of compliance with the regulations did not reflect the true cost of recycling.
Under the proposed new system, all producers will be required to join a producer compliance scheme, unless they fall below the de minimis threshold which exempts producers placing less than five tonnes onto the market per year.
Each compliance scheme will be given a tonnage target by category of EEE placed onto the market in proportion to the UK target and the total market share of their members during the previous year.
Trading of evidence, which producers claim was leading to an increase in the overall cost that they were paying for compliance with the regulations, will be outlawed under the new system.
Over-collecting schemes will be required to finance the excess or retain the income, and under-collecting schemes will have to pay a ‘compliance fee’ per tonne of WEEE it has been unable to collect or face sanctions for non-compliance.
Local authorities will also be given greater freedom to choose WEEE streams that they would like to manage and treat directly, and will absorb any revenue or cost for handling the waste.
Stakeholders were then given until November 1st to provide further comment. A target date of January 1st 2014, has been set for the new system to come into force.