The UK lies in sixth position in a pan-European league table for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) recycling, says the European Recycling Platform (ERP).
Of the 11 countries for which the compliance scheme has 2010 data, the UK recycled 7.5kg per head of population, above the original EU target of 4kg. It said that WEEE is now the fastest growing waste stream in western economies.
ERP conducted the survey across 11 of the countries in which it operates: Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the UK. The per capita range of WEEE recycling is between 3.7kg in Poland and 19kg in Norway, with an average of 8.26kg per head. The waste battery recycling per capita range is between 40g in Poland and 220g in Austria, with an average of 109g.
ERP president and CEO Umberto Raiteri said: “The survey gives us some insight into the different behaviours and attitudes of varying nationalities to recycling, and helps us to shape our plans for future success in recycling around Europe. We know that one size does not fit all, and each country faces different challenges, but it is up to us to address those challenges as best we can and tailor our service to be cost effective and efficient for our member companies.”
The survey also found that larger household appliances such as washing machines and freezers are the most frequently recycled items across Norway, Ireland, the UK, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Poland, while IT and telecoms equipment are the most frequently recycled items in France and Denmark.