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BRC given go ahead for WEEE retail compliance scheme

A scheme by leading retailers to collect Waste Electrical and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) has been given the go-ahead by the Government.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has received permission to proceed with its proposal to collect WEEE.

This would mean that consumers would be able to deposit WEEE at an approved designated collection point at their local civic amenity site.

Producers of the goods and their agents, will then collect the WEEE from the sites and remove it for recycling.

Although the European Union WEEE directive focused on free in-store take-back, which still remains an option, this scheme is considered an acceptable alternative.

BRC director of corporate social responsibility Nigel Smith said: "We have been consulting extensively with retailers around the UK to find their preferred method of collecting WEEE. The overwhelming response has been for a compliance scheme like this, which allows retailers to jointly fund and fulfil their new obligations under the WEEE directive.

"The scheme offers clear benefits to consumers and retailers. It also provides producers with opportunities to develop low-cost collection and processing systems. It is a win for all and we encourage every retailer to join up."

Independent analysis has confirmed the cost of upgrading the 1,074 civic amenity sites around the UK at £8.2 million. A proportion of the fund will also support public education and special events to enhance and improve WEEE collection.

Under this scheme, retailers will contribute to a central fund on a proportionate level to their current market share.

Retailers involved in the scheme will be required to provide consumers with information regarding collection points for WEEE at point of sale.

The directive is due to come into force in January 2006.

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