WEEE consultation feedback indicates change is likely

Posted on 11th October, 2013

“Not yet there”, is the answer on the progress of the long awaited WEEE2 regulations. The latest deadline has passed and there is no sign of white smoke yet above Whitehall. We have held off this bulletin, expecting news last week and have now been told to expect an announcement at the end of this week. It therefore looks as though it will be another week or two before the new draft regulations are published. This in itself will bring serious issues for implementation of any new regulations and further extends uncertainty for both producers and the recycling industry.

We will keep all our members up-to-date with any further developments but the position now is to do nothing until we receive advice from the department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Responses to the Government’s Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) consultation have favoured a change to the current system.

The Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) received 256 responses to the consultation, having put forward four options (below) and itself indicating preferences for numbers 3 and 4:

Consultees were asked to rank each option according to preference (not all of the options were ranked by some respondents).

Option 1 “Do nothing” had the highest number of respondents saying it was their least preferred option with 132 out of 233.

Option 2 was not popular with respondents with 194 (93%) ranking it as the third or fourth best option.

Option 3 received substantial support across all stakeholder groups. 206 of 217 (95%) indicated it was either their first or second preference.

Option 4 had the highest number select it as their preferred option with 116 respondents, mostly made up of producers and their trade associations, according to BIS.

The 256 responses were made up of:

100 WEEE producers
49 local government
29 trade bodies
22 Producer Compliance Schemes
17 distributors
16 WEEE treatment facilities
16 charities and social enterprises
14 electrical reuse organisations
11 waste management companies

The next step is for the Government to publish guidance notes on the proposed changes. BIS said that this will be published in September 2013.

In July 2012 the WEEE Directive Recast was published forcing EU member states to increase 4kg of electronic waste recycled per person per year to 20kg by 2020. Furthermore, the waste electronic collection target will rise to 45% by 2016 and to 85% by 2019.