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Biffa hails council WEEE scheme

Five local authorities involved with an innovative scheme run by Biffa have collected around 50 tonnes of WEEE within months of starting up.

Under the scheme Biffa crews collect small domestic WEEE put out by residents in carrier bags alongside their normal refuse. The bags are then placed in specially fitted cages underneath the collection vehicles.

Three councils were awarded one-off grants to cover start-up costs, funded by electrical retailers as part of their obligation towards WEEE regulations.

Two others chose to adopt the service model.

Biffa said it was able to keep overall costs low thanks to income from the sale of WEEE to reprocessors, and from the recycling evidence notes certified by the Transform compliance scheme.

Woking Borough Council, which was awarded a grant, was the first to adopt the service in December last year. The authority has so far collected more than 22 tonnes of small WEEE and one tonne of batteries. More than nine tonnes of TVs were also recovered during an ‘amnesty’ linked to the digital switchover.

The other grant-winners, Surrey Heath and Swale Borough Councils started the service in April.

Stafford Borough Council also started in April, and Mole Valley District Council began this month.

Biffa development director Pete Dickson, said: “Compared to general recycling volumes, these tonnages may seem small, but they reflect the successful, and growing, diversion of a ‘new’ domestic waste stream.”

According to Biffa 20 local authorities – half its customer base – are “interested” in the collection scheme.

More on Biffa.

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