Update on WEEE

As the recently introduced WEEE Directive begins to make its presence felt, IEM follows the progress of industry as it looks at ways to tackle its electrical and electronic waste.

A question of infrastructure

With the recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment soon to be required by European law, the key question is whether the UK has the necessary infrastructure and capacity.

This is the question that the Industry Council for Electronic Equipment Recycling (ICER) aims to answer through a survey of WEEE recyclers / refurbishers throughout the UK. ICER, a cross-industry association which is the focus for action on WEEE, is gathering hard facts and figures to help decision-makers in government as they prepare for the implementation of the WEEE Directive in the UK. The idea is to contact all major players.

Appropriate technology
National legislation to implement the directive has to be in place in all member states by mid 2004. To comply with the directive the UK needs to have enough recycling and refurbishing capacity to handle an increased volume of waste equipment and cope with many different types. It also means that recyclers will need appropriate technology to meet the targets cost-effectively and the ability to report results back to producers so that they can prove that they have met the requirements of the directive.

2003 is a vital year for planning the right approach. That is why ICER is putting together a profile of UK recyclers and and refurbishers which will include:

  • number and size of operators
  • distribution across the country
  • volumes currently handled and potential to expand
  • different processes carried out
  • take up of new technology
  • ability to report results to producers
  • likely costs of recycling

This research is supported by Biffaward, a multi-million pound fund set up by Biffa Waste Services using its landfill tax credits. Findings will be reported to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Environment Agency.



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