Recycling firm aims to strip away WEEE myths

Posted on 23rd May, 2007

There has been major concern from the manufacturing sector regarding what looked like potentially huge bills for stakeholders faced with complying with the new WEEE directive. The new electronic recycling law result in additional, sometimes significant, costs being incurred by European electrical producers and importers.

The governments estimate for the UK alone suggests that manufacturers will collectively need to stump up between £217m and £455m per annum to ensure their electronic goods are recycled safely.

WeeeCare, a firm set up specifically to serve this growing new sector, has gone out on a limb by quoting its own compliance scheme as costing as little as £6 per tonne – hundreds of pounds less than some competing companies
Individual producers need to know now how much the WEEE directive is going to cost them in order to plan for the future, and avoid selling new products at a loss, says the firm. To ensure minimal outlay for producers and to help them to decide which scheme to enrol with, WeeeCare was keen to be transparent and upfront about it’s costs.

Kevin Bray, acting chief executive explained:

“Our aim is to help producers and manufacturers by providing a cost effective and responsible compliance scheme. We are the only company to guarantee the cost of businesses WEEE obligation in 2007, and instead of some of the figures which have been handed about, we are providing our service from £6 per tonne for business to business producers.”

Time is counting down swiftly to the deadline for producers to sign up to a compliance scheme. Businesses must join a Producer Compliance Scheme (PCS) by March 15th 2007. “This can be a worry for many producers who are not aware of the costs of the schemes they are signing up to” said Bray who added that WeeeCare will guarantee its costs, claiming they will remain low. Unlike most other compliance schemes, he says, the company operates its own recycling plants and collection facilities throughout the UK, and has more than 20 years experience of waste management, through sister company WasteCare. It is also the first to get the backing of the Environment Agency.

There has been much confusion over the EA’s regulations, and many businesses are still none the wiser as to their required commitment in what is only a few weeks time. Some of the fear of committing to registering with a compliance scheme has inevitably focused on the cost which has been an unknown quantity thanks to the new nature of the regulations.

Many companies have reportedly paid huge amounts to ensure their packaging was recycled and have found subsequently that they could have complied for far less outlay. Many compliance schemes are talking, vaguely, in terms of several hundred pounds/tonne. Will the removal of EEE go the same way? Hopefully not says WeeeCare.