Collect and Recycle

A third of WEEE recycling in Europe ‘unreported’

A group representing WEEE recycling firms in Europe has said that there are “large flows” of WEEE that are not presently being counted towards recycling targets, stating that governments could use the transposition of the Recast WEEE Directive to capture them, reports Collect and Recycle (


The European Electronics Recyclers Association (EERA), with represents 36 of the continent’s WEEE recyclers, released a report jointly with digital technology group DIGITALEUROPE and lighting manufacturing firm LightingEurope, on WEEE regimes on the continent. The report claimed that the recycling of as much as one third of WEEE was happening outside producer take-back schemes.


The groups went on to state in the report that in order to meet targets that were being introduced under the Recast, mandatory reporting obligations should be enforced for all permitted WEEE reprocessors. They added that although the EU Member States presently recorded an average WEEE collection rate of about a third, research suggested that there was an extra unreported third being collected by treatment operators.


According to the groups, it is therefore necessary for information on all flows of WEEE to be collected if the collection targets are to be met, accounting for the electrical waste recycling of both producer take-back schemes and third party collectors. It has been proposed by the groups that WEEE recycling done outside the producer compliance system is recorded on a register funded by producers, so that it is accounted for in recycling targets.


The report states: “For protection of the treatment operators’ interests, the reporting should happen in a secure environment. Therefore it is proposed that treatment operators that comply with the quality standards, report data to an independent register, which may be financed by the producers.”


It has also been proposed by the groups that producer data on volumes that have been put on the market could be recorded on the independent register.


The Recast Directive was published in the Official Journal of the European Union in 2012, with EU Member States having until January 2014 to alter existing laws to account for the requirements that have been set out. Changes demanded in the Recast include tougher requirements for used electrical equipment exporters, as well as an increased target to recycle 85% of generated WEEE, or equivalent to 65% of sold equipment in the preceding three years from 2019.


It has been announced by the UK’s Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) that a formal consultation into proposed WEEE disposal system changes to bring the UK into line with the WEEE Recast will be launched. This would also reduce the cost to businesses of ensuring compliance with the system.


Collect and Recycle ( has always prided itself on being in full compliance with the law, at all times. As specialists in computer recycling, we will watch developments on the WEEE Recast with interest and keep you informed on the latest legislative changes.

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