The Joint Trade Association (JTA), which claims it represents more than 90% of WEEE producer obligation in the UK, defended the group’s stance on the WEEE consultation from criticism by a newly-banded trade group with opposing views.
The WEEE consultation closes today (21 June), and has been hotly debated in the sector.
Speaking on behalf of the JTA, Richard Waterhouse, environment manager at the Intellect technology industry association said: “It is clear that option 1 is not sustainable” in response to assertions from a new ‘WEEE common interest group’ earlier this week.
The common interest group said that it supported option 1 in the WEEE consultation ‘do nothing’, with amendments. It said this is in line with a recent poll by hazardous waste recycler and WEEE compliance scheme organisers Wastecare, in which a strong majority voted for the same.
The group raised concerns about aspects of the consultation that it said are failing to address some of the key objectives of the WEEE Recast, including the way “the consultation infers that recycling targets for 2016 (45%) and 2019 (65%) are a maximum rather than a minimum” and the lack of priority given to hazardous WEEE.
But Waterhouse did not accept that ‘tweaks’ to option 1 would work. He said: “To remove the 100% guarantee of collections, would not work. It could lead to some sites in remote areas of the country being left uncollected, or more expensive WEEE streams such as TVs becoming a new financial burden to local authorities.”
Waterhouse reiterated that the JTA supports options 3 and 4 in the consultation, the Government’s favoured options. He said both options represent “practical solutions that incentivise recycling, and at the same time remove the ‘must buy’ market that means WEEE in the UK currently costs some £60m per annum more than it should.” The association prefers option 4, with option 3 as its second choice.
He argued that option 1 favours intermediary companies that collect far more WEEE than they need for their members, and then sell it at an inflated cost. “This creates evidence trading at higher cost than necessary, with no quality or audit trail,” he said.
He added: “[The Governement] have listened to the considerable concerns raised by producers through the red tape challenge.”
- The Joint Trade Association (JTA), representing eight trade associations and four producer-led WEEE compliance schemes
- WEEE common interest group members of the group include Electrolink, Mercury Recycling. In total the group includes four Approved Authorised Treatment Facilities, four compliance schemes and one EEE producer