Government unveils £775,000 fund to boost electrical recycling

The Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) has launched a £775,000 fund to help local authorities improve the collection, re-use and recycling of electrical goods.

Councils are being urged to bid for a portion of the funding, with £40,000 available for individual local authorities, and up to £100,000 available for consortia bids.

The money has come from retailers, suppliers and manufacturers of electrical equipment as part of the Distributor Take-back Scheme and the WEEE Compliance Fee.

Business Minister Anna Soubry said: “We have around £1bn worth of electrical equipment in our homes which we no longer use but which still has real value.

“This business-led fund can help drive up levels of collection, re-use and recycling of unwanted electrical equipment. The fund will also help divert electrical waste from landfill and reduce waste by promoting the re-use of electrical appliances.”

Added value

Just one third of all used-but-still-functioning electronics were properly recycled across the EU in 2012, according to a recent UN study. Another study from Sheffield University said the EU can generate an additional €3.7bn by 2020 by recycling its waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

The new BIS fund was welcomed by the Joint Trade Associations (JTA) – a group of trade bodies which represents over 90% of all WEEE producer responsibility in the UK.

Simon Eves, the deputy chairman of the JTA and head of environmental affairs at Panasonic UK said: “The WEEE Compliance Fee Fund will provide local authorities with opportunities to invest in innovative approaches to WEEE. 

“Specific uses of the fund include local projects that contribute to higher levels of collection, treatment, and re-use of household WEEE.  It is important to note that the fund cannot be used to meet normal operating costs or to pay for non-household WEEE.”

For more information on this subject, check out edie’s Top 10 facts about e-waste…

Brad Allen

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