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EA criticised for last-minute withdrawal of prosecution against WEEE company

The Environment Agency (EA) has been criticised for an eleventh-hour decision to drop the prosecution of a WEEE compliance company.

WEEE Light was found not guilty of breaching regulations when the case reached trial at Sheffield Crown Court in July when the EA offered no evidence.

The case involved claims that WEEE Light failed to comply with a viable plan to collect an amount of WEEE equivalent to that for which it was responsible for financing and had failed to correctly inform the EA of changes in the use of approved authorised treatment facilities (AATFs).

The EA told the court it was not in the public interest to proceed and all the parties would pay their own legal costs. WEEE Light said the EA had “capitulated 100%”.

A company statement said: “Everyone working in WEEE Light, our clients’ suppliers and advisers are vindicated in the collapse of the case. I believe we have been singled out by the EA as a test case because we provided an efficient innovative and long-term solution to the business of electronic waste.”

An EA spokesperson said: “The EA will always investigate in instances where information or concerns come to light and will give thorough consideration of the benefit to the public at each stage. Based on legal advice we [didn’t] regard it in the public interest to proceed further with this case.”

Vincent Eckerman, WEEE compliance manager of producer compliance scheme AVC Weeeco, WEEE Light’s parent company, responded: “The EA is trying to justify this was somehow in the public interest between December 2010 and July 2013. Now, after they appointed new counsel, it is not in the public interest.”

The two charges brought against the company related to the Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) Regulations 2006.

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