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WEEE collection volume must rise by 3% to meet 2014 targets

The proposed overall WEEE collection target for 2014 is 490,000 tonnes, a 15,289 tonnes increase (3%) on the total amount collected in 2013.

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) has set out proposed targets for collections of 13 categories of WEEE in the 2014 compliance period (see file right).

Philip Morton, chief executive of compliance scheme REPIC, said: “All of the targets look about right. They are a stretch certainly, but it’s pretty much what (the industry) are already doing.”

He said there may be difficulty in collecting the extra 14,000 tonnes for cooling appliances with refrigerants, but results from the last two quarters suggest the target may be achievable.

BIS set a target of 77,000 tonnes for display equipment, which is significantly reduced from the 100,000 tonnes collected last year.

The department stated: “Due to ‘light-weighting’ and the recent ending of the digital switchover, display equipment has demonstrated the greatest fall in volumes collected in the last two years compared to any other category.”

Morton said the target reduction reflected the overall decline in weights of display equipment. This was after consumers moved from cathode ray tube TVs and computer monitors towards plasma and LCD screens.

He added: “These new products continue to have lighter weighting year-on-year. Even though the number of units captured is increasing, we are not collecting more WEEE because they weigh less.”

The lamp collection target of 802 tonnes was also reduced from last year’s collection of 834 tonnes.

Morton said this was due to the technological move away from incandescent light bulbs, ahead of the EU banning them, to compact fluorescents (CFLs). CFLs last for a many years so very few are coming back through the WEEE system currently.

BIS is seeking comments on its proposals by 11 March.

How BIS set the targets

BIS decided to set the targets based on last year’s growth in tonnes of WEEE collected for each category.

However, the overall volume of WEEE collected in 2013 fell 3% from 2012 leaving a shortfall of around 18,000 tonnes to reach the 490,000 tonne target.

This gap has been filled by setting the target for each category at 3.7% higher than the previous year’s change.

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