Data released by the Environment Agency detailing the tonnage of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) disposed of during the first compliance period shows the cost to the electronics industry is as little as a tuppence on a toaster, claims producer compliance scheme (PCS) Electrolink.
Electrolink carried out a financial impact analysis of the data for the period July 1 2007 to December 31 2007 which shows that the cost of the WEEE regulations to the electronics industry has been kept to a minimum. The Regulations require manufacturers to pay for the recycling of WEEE that is deposited at local authority civic amenity sites.
The compliance schemes analysis shows that a washing machine sold during the period would cost 22 pence to recycle, a new refrigerator cost £4.45 to recycle and a new flat TV screen £3.48. Electrolink said the total cost of WEEE recycling for the electronics industry was likely to be less than £30 million.
The data follows a joint statement released by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), the Environment Agency (EA) and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency that schemes can now receive details of their final obligations for financing the collection, treatment, recovery and disposal of household WEEE.
Electrolink chief executive Barry Van Danzig said: The first compliance process for the UK is nearly complete and early fears that the costs would spiral out of control and electronic companies would suffer bankruptcy or hardship can now be laid to rest. As we look forward to 2008, indications are that unit costs could well be lower than in 2007, so the arguments about the costs and the process all amount to very little when we consider that it is nothing more than a tuppence on a toaster.