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Councils decisions questioned by Repic letter

Councils have expressed concern about a letter demanding information under the Freedom of Information Act about how and why local authorities had chosen their waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) producer compliance scheme (PCS). Detailed information about the PCS selection process was requested in the letter from national PCS Repic. This included the local authoritys selection criteria for assessing schemes as well as how many schemes were invited to tender. It also asked why Repic was not chosen as well as requesting selection criteria relating to any exchange of value but it stopped short of requesting figures. The letter has been described by some as a challenge to local authority decision making, as this information could have been obtained in a less confrontational way. This approach could potentially alienate them from some local authorities according to one council representative MRW spoke to. Another possible reason behind the letter relates to speculation that other PCS have broken the rules and are servicing more than their obligated share of designated collection facilities (DCF), which means other PCS will not meet their obligations. Commenting on the obligation shares issue Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (Larac) chairman Lee Marshall said: These issues have been caused by the closure of the original allocation centre, which was set up to allocate sites fairly and enable PCS to fulfil their obligations. Commenting on Repics letter Marshall added: Local authorities may deem the information requested as commercially sensitive and decide not to give it out. He added that he thought Repic needed to speak to the Government about how to meet their obligations if there is a problem. Repic chief executive Philip Morton said: Repic, the not-for-profit company, has asked local authorities to disclose information on their selection process for choosing their PCS using the Freedom of Information Act. This is to assist Repic in its ongoing activities. To date, the response has been encouraging. local authorities are used to dealing with this type of request and the turnaround has been fast.

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