WEEE timetable announced

Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks has outlined a timetable for the introduction of the EC Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE).

The Minister opened consultation on key proposals which would be introduced on July 1, 2007.

The proposals up for consultation:
  • A national Distributor Takeback Scheme which will establish a network of Designated Collection Facilities enabling consumers to return their used items for recycling or reuse.

  • Obligatory registration for producers through approved compliance schemes;

  • Authorised Treatment Facilities, which will process WEEE and provide evidence to producers on the amount of WEEE received for treatment;

  • Accredited reprocessing/recycling facilities who will provide evidence of reprocessing to producers;

  • An end-of-year settlement to ensure producers are able to meet their obligations via an "Exchange system;

  • A voluntary approach for producers to show the cost of handling historical WEEE.

    "Electrical equipment is the fastest growing category of rubbish across the European Union, with around 20kg per person produced every year, and the UK alone is now generating around 1m tonnes of the stuff every year," said Mr Wicks.

    "These proposals are good for consumers, good for responsible producers and good for our environment. By providing a way of ensuring that electronic waste no longer has to go to landfills, manufacturers and importers will have the responsibility to ensure that they plan for both their new and existing products to be recycled rather than dumped.

    "In announcing full producer responsibility I want to provide those businesses who have yet to take up their obligation with the certainty they need in order to plan for implementation."

    The Environment Agency's Liz Parkes added: "We are pleased to have been part of the DTI's wider implementation team. The regulations will lead to less waste going to landfills and more materials being made available for recycling.

    "Making sure waste is dealt with in an environmentally responsible manner is a priority for us. We have been preparing in anticipation of our role and have been gearing up to handle the registration of producers of WEEE in line with DTI proposals. This will no doubt help contribute towards creating a better environment for everyone."

    The consultation document can be found on the DTI website here.

    Sam Bond

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