Social enterprise invests to capitalise on WEEE recast

A not-for-profit scheme is expanding its e-waste recycling capabilities to meet what it sees as a growing demand in the market for unwanted electrical items.

Leeds-based U Can Recycling is the only designated collection facility in Leeds for the public to drop off their unwanted waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

The enterprise forecasts a growth in the market this year as companies respond to strict new targets, which come into force in early 2014 when the WEEE recast becomes effective. From 2019, the minimum collection rate will increase to 65%.

Set up in 2011 by managing director Rob Seal to focus on redundant IT equipment and metals, the organisation has expanded its recycling capabilities to meet an anticipated growth in demand for its services in the lead up to WEEE recast coming into force.

“We have invested £65,000 in new confidential data destruction equipment that allows us to process IT waste to MoD level security,” said Seal.

U Can Recycling is now in discussions with Leeds City Council about accessing municipal waste streams and plans to approach compliance schemes to source larger volumes of corporate waste. It currently employs 11 people and is looking to double its workforce by the end of the year.

“It’s about knowing who is a specialist and working with that company,” says Seal. “The other key thing is getting hold of the material in the first place. That’s where the partnerships come in so that you can get hold of the material and then process and recycle it.”

The April issue of LAWR is running a feature on U Can Recycling.

Nick Warburton

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