UK electrical recycling rates will increase when the public is better informed about what to do with its waste, say industry experts.
Speaking to MRW Dell recycling manager Jean Cox-Kearns said there needed to be more visible messages about how consumers can recycle their electronics. She said: There has to be responsibility from Government, responsibility from producers and retailers to get the message out to consumers to recycle electrical goods.
Her comments come after a Dell report found that the UK recycles less electronics than the rest of Europe. The report showed that more than 80 per cent of German consumers regularly recycle electronics compared to fewer than half of UK residents British consumers.
Cox-Kearns added that in some countries it is mandated that consumers should have an awareness of informing the public.
Waste electrical and electronic equipment producer compliance scheme Repic supported Cox-Kearns claims that more needs to be done to educate the consumer about electrical recycling.
Chief executive Philip Morton said: While the UK easily achieved the 4kg minimum target there is no doubt that the country lags behind many of its European counterparts. UK consumers buy around 25kg per person of new EEE per year and undoubtedly far more than the 7kg or so reported as being separately collected is discarded. Much of the leakage of WEEE is probably treated and certainly anything with value will be recycled, however it might not be captured in the system.
The key to resolving the low collection rates lies in plugging the leaks and informing the consumer. When consumers discard their WEEE they quite rightly expect that it will be properly treated and recovered according to the law. Sadly this is not always the case. The solution is to ensure that all separately collected WEEE is handed over to producer compliance schemes and that PCSs accept their share of it and process it according to the law. As for informing the public all stakeholders have a roll to play here. Most people in the UK want to do the right thing and it is up to all of us in the WEEE arena to make it easy for them to return their discarded items.