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WEEE reprocessors face financial problems

Some reprocessors of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) may face severe financial problems because they are invoicing producer compliance schemes for WEEE and not getting paid for it.

A source closely involved with WEEE processing told MRW that some reprocessors of WEEE who work on behalf of producer compliance scheme Electrolink face financial problems and the statement from Electrolink that said that all of their contractors are happy is untrue. For example, the source said that reprocessor Cumbria Waste Management pulled out of its contract with Electrolink because it was fulfilling its WEEE obligations and not getting paid for it and is owed a significant amount of money.

Speaking to MRW Cumbria Waste Management finance director Andy Chant said: There has been a lot of confusion surrounding the implementation of the WEEE regulations relating to the issue of evidence, the trading of evidence, the handling of scrap revenues and the costs of reprocessing especially in rural areas.

This has led to a stand off between Electrolink and Repic which has meant that the money from the producers has not been flowing effectively to those operators like Cumbria Waste Management who have actually carried on reprocessing WEEE without being paid. This is not a sustainable situation and the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR) and the compliance schemes together need to get it resolved quickly.

The source also told MRW: There are other contractors who are owed large sums of money, several in the £300,000 area. There are also some very small hauliers who are owed £50,000 not much in business terms but they have had to take out second mortgages to pay their men and the fuel. Not to mention all the money that was promised to the local authorities that got agreements for the metal scrap value.

Those local authorities must be concerned now as they are approaching the end of their financial year and will have to balance their books.

In response Electrolink agree with the source that there are reprocessors who face financial problems but it said that the fault is not theirs.

Electrolink sales and marketing director Paul Van Danzig said: There are cash flow problems because cash is not flowing through the system due to the lack of funding by obligated producers. This is not Electrolinks fault it is because the producers are not providing the funding. However, we are in discussions with BERR and other producer compliance schemes to come to a resolution quickly.

Image: WEEE stored for disposal

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