UK on track for WEEE Day
Retailers and producers are less than one month away from having to comply by new regulations designed to reduce the environmental impact caused by waste from the disposal of electronic equipment such as television and toasters.
As of July 1, the new Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations will ensure that major producers, rebranders and importers of household electrical and electronic equipment are signed up to pay for the responsible disposal and recycling of their goods.
Liz Parkes, head of waste at the Environment Agency, said: "From July 1 separately collected waste electrical and electronic equipment must be treated and recycled, with the producers paying the cost. Initial data we have received from registered producers who are obligated under the new Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations indicates the major companies are signed up."
With electrical waste now one of the fastest-growing waste streams across Europe - expanding at around three times the rate of general waste - the aim of the regulations is to encourage more recycling, recovery and re-use, and ultimately divert more used goods away from landfill.
Liz Parkes continued: "The data submitted to us by the compliance schemes on its members shows that of those producers who have registered, last year they collectively put 1.4m tonnes of household electrical items on the market."
Although not yet imposed on consumers, the public will also be encouraged to take more responsibility for the recycling and reuse of electronic goods.
"The options will be to take goods such as an old toaster to a retailer as part of new take-back schemes or to take to local recycling facilities," a spokesperson for the Environment Agency told edie.
Information for local recycling programmes depends on local authorities and can be accessed at dedicated recycling website, www.recyclenow.com.
For the full list of approved compliance schemes and information on the WEEE Regulations, visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk/weee or contact the Environment Agency on 08708 506 506.