Collect and Recycle

BIS consults on changes to WEEE compliance system

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Yesterday (April 17), in news that will interest many of the IT recycling clients of Collect and Recycle (, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) launched its eagerly awaited public consultation on how the recast waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) directive is to be implemented by the government from 2014 onwards.

The consultation period will last for nine weeks, during which stakeholders, including of electronic equipment producers and recyclers, are encouraged to submit their views on how the WEEE compliance system can be overhauled. BIS has indicated two preferred options: setting compulsory targets for compliance schemes or Designated Collection Facilities (DCFs) being centrally allocated for schemes. The adoption of either of these two options would represent a complete change of the current process, whereby schemes can trade evidence and compete for council contracts.

There are three sections into which the consultation has been divided, with the first outlining the government’s plans with regard to the implementation of the changes that are needed so that the requirements of the recast WEEE Directive are brought into UK law. These changes include the implementation of higher collection targets and Regulations of a wider scope. The second section focuses on how businesses that need to comply with the regulation can have their administrative burden lessened, as well as how the cost of compliance can be reduced. Section three is devoted to alterations to the power of entry provisions related to WEEE Regulations enforcement.

As many of those involved in electrical waste recycling are already aware, BIS had previously outlined proposals for three possible alternative producer compliance systems, as well as a fourth option to leave the current system unchanged. Of the three ‘change’ options, it was revealed in the consultation notes that BIS favoured either matching collection sites to collection schemes, or setting targets for compliance schemes, charging a “compliance fee” in the event of them not being met. Another option is to introduce a ‘National Producer Compliance Scheme’ rather than encourage current compliance schemes to compete.

Another intention of the proposals is to make the compliance system simpler for small producers which do not meet a ‘de minimis’ threshold of WEEE placed onto the market, as well as to give local councils more flexibility as far as the maximisation of the potential income from WEEE recycling collections is concerned.

Michael Fallon, business and energy minister, commented on the consultation’s launch that “we always seek to implement EU law in the least burdensome and most business-friendly way in consultation with industry. Simplifying compliance and cutting red tape are underlying principles behind this consultation.”

The consultation runs until June 21, with the government planning to publish its response within eight weeks, while January 1, 2014 are when the new regulations are expected to come into force. Collect and Recycle ( will keep its clients updated on the latest changes to the law concerning WEEE disposal, and always keeps within the law in the provision of its own computer recycling services.

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