LONDON The U.K. Government has launched its consultation on the key proposals for implementing the EC Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) to be introduced from 1 July 2007 has given a timetable for consultation and implementing the directive.
“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 . Malcolm Wicks, Energy Minister.
“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.”
The consultation marks the beginning of the final phase of the Government's process for implementing the WEEE Directive. The proposals outlined in the consultation follow on from a review of our implementation proposals last December and have been developed through consultation to ensure that they are workable.
The key proposals are include 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. There will be obligatory registration for producers through approved compliance schemes; and 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; and an end-of-year settlement will ensure producers are able to meet their obligations via an 'exchange system'. There will be a voluntary approach for producers to show the cost of handling historical WEEE.
The consultation document is available for downloaded and the consultation will run from July 25 until October 17.
Retailers have an obligation to offer take-back services to householders and the Directive does not place any obligations on householders, and they will be not be prohibited from throwing WEEE away with general domestic rubbish. It will however encourage more WEEE to be reused or recycled by ensuring that there is a network of facilities in place where householders can return their used equipment free of charge.