WEEE recycling target poised to hike up to 85%

The European Parliament has voted to raise the collection target for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) from 65% to 85% in Brussels today (October 4).

The parliament’s environment committee voted overwhelmingly in favour for the collection target to come into effect by 2016, as part of a recast of the WEEE Directive. The target would apply to all member states and would be based on the total amount of WEEE generated.

A separate reuse target of 5% has also been endorsed, but disagreements still remain between the European Parliament and environment ministers in the EU Council over how precisely the targets should be calculated.

Other loopholes remain, including the absence of a harmonised approach to registering and reporting e-waste across Europe. Concerns persist that under current proposals, a substantial amount of WEEE still risks being ‘leaked’ out of the system.

The European Committee of Domestic Equipment Manufacturers’ (CECED) director general, Luigi Meli, said that while the recast “provides a real opportunity to deliver a directive that works in practice”, a lot of WEEE is still escaping out of the system.

“It is not being returned to producer or producer-financed WEEE treatment schemes for correct processing and treatment. This is because e-waste has value and in the context of increasing resource scarcity, this value is increasing. ”

He added that other operators who handle WEEE in addition to those officially designated as WEEE producers must also be covered by the revised legislation, if the higher recycling target is to be met.

Maxine Perella

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