Electrical goods producers warned to obey new waste laws

The Environment Agency is targeting producers of electrical goods yet to register with a recycler under new polluter pays waste laws.

Under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations electrical and electronic equipment producers must register with an approved Producer Compliance Scheme (PCS) to collect and recycle on their behalf - or face prosecution.

But some smaller companies have not yet done so and the agency is mounting a telephone campaign to remind them.

Liz Parkes, the agency's head of waste, said: "Since 1 July, under the regulations, separately collected waste electrical and electronic equipment has to be treated and recycled with the producers paying the cost.

"The new rules mean that anyone who produces, brands or imports such goods has to be registered with an approved Producer Compliance Scheme.

"The major producers have done this. However we are aware there are smaller businesses who still haven't registered.

"We realise that as with any new legislation, the regulations may be news to many smaller producers. So, as part of a targeted telephone campaign, we will be calling 4,500 companies who might need to be registered."

The agency says its priority this year is to make organisations aware of their responsibilities under the new legislation but it warns those failing to comply could face prosecution.

"We want to help make sure businesses are complying with the new rules," said Ms Parkes. "However if we find a business has flouted the rules and deliberately avoided registering, we will take enforcement action.

"These regulations are about protecting our environment and it's important that everyone plays their part."

Electrical waste is growing at around three times the rate of general waste in Europe.

The WEEE regulations, which came into force in January, are intended to boost recycling, recovery and re-use thereby leading to less landfill.

Responsibility for this is laid before producers, who profit from making the goods.

Compliance schemes have been set up to help those companies affected by the regulations by collecting and recycling products on their behalf.

David Gibbs



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