The Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and Sustainable Resource Management (ACR+), an international network promoting recycling, found widely varying differences in the way legislation on waste electrical and electronic (WEEE) has been interpreted in different countries.

At a meeting of ACR+’s WEEE Public Interest Network, members heard results of the survey into the implementation of the WEEE Directive in 13 member states.

The survey found that introduction of the directive has been late, inconsistent and very diverse.

The organisation said producers are “widely using separate collection systems established by municipalities, but in most cases without paying the full price of the service”.

It said this was creating unfair competition for European producers taking up their full responsibilities.

Countries were also unable to provide comprehensive information about the total cost of collection, transportation and treatment of WEEE, and on the amount collected, recycled and recovered, the WEEE Public Interest Network said.

Complaints from local and regional authorities included a lack of clarity in regulation, too many producers’ compliance schemes, a lack of space at collection sites, and the unwillingness of producers to accept local authorities’ costs.

Members of the WEEE Public Interest Network called for the EU to clarify producers’ financial responsibility, and to introduce reuse targets and standard quality criteria for reused WEEE.

The organisation also wants measures put in place to guarantee transparency and accessibility on the operation of producers’ compliance schemes.

Kate Martin

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