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JTA welcomes support for UK WEEE system reform

A major industry body has backed the call to reform the UK’s waste electronic system as revealed to be generally supported by responses to the WEEE consultation.

Last week, the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) released its summary of responses to the consultation, which closed earlier in June.

The Joint Trade Association (JTA), representing eight trade associations and four producer compliance schemes (PCSs) in the electrical sector, said that the Government now has “a powerful mandate for change.”

Richard Hughes, chairman of the JTA, said: “Both option 3 and 4 would be a good outcome for all stakeholders. Producers support these options because they remove the “must buy” market for WEEE evidence which is a cause of excessive costs in the current system, and because both options introduce a clear audit trail for WEEE treatment.”

The responses showed 82% support for local authorities being able to choose to take responsibility for waste electronics if they can gain value from it, which the JTA also supports. In this case, if councils choose not to, WEEE is still collected without charge.

The JTA also agreed with the majority of respondents that Government needs to turn to “substantiated estimates” of the amount of WEEE collected in order to meet the targets of the new Directive (45% by 2016 rising to 85% by 2019). This is because non-compliance scheme collectors are not obligated to report their waste electronic collections.

Nigel Harvey, chief executive of lamp producer compliance scheme Recolight, which is part of the JTA, also said that changes would make the industry fairer for all stakeholders.

Harvey was “particularly pleased” that 84% of respondents agreed with the proposal to include LED and gas discharge lamps in the same category of waste.

He added: “This proposal will benefit the UK, by avoiding the risk of an unfunded (orphan) fluorescent lamp waste stream.”

The Government is set to announce its formal response to the WEEE consultation at least 10 weeks before the 1 January 2014 implementation date.

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