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WEEE compliance clampdown

Ministers are clamping down on councils failing to comply with their waste electrical and electronic compliance (WEEE) obligations.

The Department for Business Innovation & Skills has told local authorities launching a fresh drive with the Environment Agency on compliance.

A BIS letter dated 13 February said the department had received “a number of queries” from councils about their responsibilities under the Code of Practice for the Collection of WEEE from Designated Collection Facilities.

The letter said: “There have also been recent occasions when local authorities have had to abort tendering arrangements that appeared to be in breach of the Code of Practice.

“I would like to inform you of a project that we will shortly roll out with the Environment Agency focussed around compliance with the Code of Practice and wider environmental permitting regulations at local authority DCFs.

“The purpose is to address issues of non-compliance and incidents of leakage that can potentially lead to substandard treatment and illegal exports of WEEE.”  

A full copy of the code is here

The code

  1. You are obliged to comply with the requirements of the Code of Practice (Regulation 55 of the UK WEEE Regulations).
  2. Compliance with the Code of Practice remains the responsibility of the local authority even where certain operations/functions are sub-contacted to your on-site contractors at a DCF.
  3. You must have an arrangement in place with an operator of an approved WEEE Producer Compliance Scheme for collection and treatment of all WEEE arisings from your DCFs (including all cables). Entering a contractual relationship with anyone else for collection of WEEE would be a breach of your terms of approval as a DCF.
  4. Arrangements must be in place with a PCS in advance of sending WEEE for treatment and raising “evidence”. Local authorities or site contractors, including those who also operate treatment facilities, are not permitted to transport and treat WEEE independently with the aim of selling the resulting evidence.
  5. You and your onsite contractors must make all separately collected WEEE deposited at DCFs available to a PCS without charge. This includes, for example, any charges to gain access to the site or asking PCS to quote a price per tonne for collection of WEEE as part of your tendering process.
  6. All 5 WEEE streams should be separately collected (including large domestic appliances) unless you have a specific exemption under the terms of your DCF approval.
  7. Changes to your PCS partner must be notified to BIS.

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