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WEEE on a one month roll!

One month after the introduction of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, waste management companies and local authorities are starting to reap the benefits. Viridor Waste Management operates nine waste disposal authority contracts across the UK, managing the designated collection facilities (DCF) on behalf of those authorities. During July, 3,674 tonnes of WEEE was successfully separated and sent for recycling from those facilities. Richmond upon Thames Councils reuse and recycling centre in Kew has seen an influx of electrical goods. A spokesman said: We have put in new recycling containers for electrical goods, which can take PCs, fluorescent tubes, hairdryers, toasters and batteries. It has only been one month and we havent got recent figures, but more and more people are becoming aware of the new facilities and new regulations. Our recycling teams will be appearing at summer fairs and speaking to people face-to-face about all the WEEE services that we are providing. Before the Directive took full effect, most of non-hazardous electrical items were mixed with scrap metal, but with segregation now an essential requirement a breakdown of the results is now possible. Viridor national recycling manager Bill Griffiths said: Not surprisingly the highest tonnage of WEEE is from the large domestic appliance sector. These figures tie in with our predictions after an earlier trial we carried out with West Sussex County Council. Viridor says small domestic appliances are delivering substantial amounts, with a forecast annual tonnage approaching 12,000 tonnes across the 93 local authority DCFs managed by them. Although these figures look optimistic, Viridor said it is still early days and uncertainty within the industry remains. Griffiths said: I believe there is still some confusion among authorised approved treatment facilities as to how, in practice, the evidence note system is going to work. With Viridor carrying the costs associated with segregating over 3,000 tonnes of WEEE a month, cash flow in from producer compliance schemes is critical.

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