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New Designated Collection Facilities to be set up for WEEE

The UK implementation of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive will involve approved compliance schemes for retailers including a network of Designated Collection Facilities (DCFs), the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI) has announced.

In its conclusions to the implementation review, the DTI will also seek obligatory registration for producers either directly or through a compliance scheme, a system for calculating producers’ obligations under the directive and a quasi-market mechanism for allocating WEEE from DCFs to producer schemes.

There will also be a code of practice covering the collection of WEEE from DCFs, a network of Authorised Treatment Facilities that will process WEEE and provide evidence of this to producers, protocols to enable producers to demonstrate achievement of recycling targets in a cost effective way and a voluntary approach for producers to show the cost of handling historical WEEE.

It also said that once the implementation proposals have been tested through the collection of evidence on how to improve these new proposals, then a formal consultation on draft regulations will follow later in Spring.

In the document published by the DTI, it stated that the benefits to stakeholders will include the large element of control it will give them including producer compliance schemes being able to control the collection and processing of deposited WEEE in partnership with DCFs, local authorities having the control of collection of WEEE from their sites with the comfort of a fall back position if sites are not cleared - meaning they will be able to recover costs from an exchange system – and SMEs will have confidence that they will not be excluded from compliance schemes and that membership fees will be structured accordingly.

A benefit to retailers and producers is that they will have the freedom to agree through their supply chain negotiations the need to display the cost of handling historical WEEE and the most appropriate methods such as on packaging and store displays.

The voluntary sector has also been recognised in the plans for its importance in the refurbishment and recycling of WEEE.

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