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Obligated WEEE collections drop

Collections of obligated WEEE have declined in the first three months of the year, compared to the same period in 2012, raising concerns over meeting the 2016 collection targets.

Environment Agency (EA) figures showed an 11% decline in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period in 2012. This follows the trend of decline, with collections down by 6% in Q1 of 2011 compared to the previous year.

Fewer collections of displays were the main cause for the recent fall, with a 22% decrease in these.

However, another EA release shows the amount of non-obligated WEEE being reported has continued to rise.

MRW reported in May that electrical equipment manufacturers could be at risk of missing WEEE collection targets because of entrepreneurial collectors operating outside the compliance scheme system.

Phil Conran, director of consultancy 360 Environmental, wrote on his site: “This latest data suggests that actually, Option 1 is already seeing that decline and that the system needs to change to prevent that decline continuing. Indeed, it would suggest that there needs to be much tighter control over the collection and treatment of WEEE by PCSs [Producer Compliance Schemes] with Option 4 being the only viable opportunity to exert that control.”

The WEEE Directive recast will see increased pressure placed on producers, who will have to reach a minimum collection target of 45% of that placed on the market from 2016 and 65% from 2019. 

Manufacturers such as Sony and HP are obligated under the WEEE Directive to have extended responsibility for their products across their entire life-cycle. 

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