An electronics recycling firm has had its approved exporter permit suspended by the Environment Agency after hazardous and non-approved waste was found in containers awaiting shipment abroad.
West Yorkshire based Sunersol confirmed the EA had suspended its permit, preventing it from issuing evidence notes for exported waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).
An EA spokeswoman said: “Environment Agency’s officers recently stopped and inspected 16 containers that were being exported under an approved permit.
“Upon inspection, our officers decided that the waste was not as described because it contained waste that was not included on the permit and some of the waste included was hazardous. Therefore, we withdrew our approval to the permit. We are continuing with our investigation.”
Sunersol compliance manger Vikki Taylor said: “Sunersol exports small electrical appliances after pre-treatment to meet Annex II requirements of the WEEE regulations. We have Transfrontier Regulation permits in place for the export of the material which has been in place for the last two years.
“After a recent meeting with the EA they have suspended our approved exporter permit to carry out some further checks, and we are waiting to hear back from the agency.
“The export of mixed raw material streams (ferrous, non-ferrous and plastics) are sent under TFS for final recovery of non-hazardous small electrical appliances, the only hazardous waste collected and recycled by Sunersol is display equipment, which is fully recovered and recycled in the UK at our West Yorkshire AATF facility.”
Justin Greenaway, contracts manager at electronics recycler SWEEEP Kuusakoski, told MRW all WEEE should be recycled in the UK.
“The UK has plenty of WEEE recycling capacity. Sending untreated WEEE out of the country is a detriment to UK jobs, recycling infrastructure, raw material security and also makes monitoring recycling quality near impossible,” he said.