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WEEE still not understood by businesses

UK companies are still not appreciating the implications of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive and continue to dispose of waste through traditional waste management channels, according to new research.

C-Tech Innovation, a Chester-based technology development and multi-disciplinary consultancy company, worked with recycling consultancy firm London Remade to produce a survey that showed that more than 890,000 tonnes per year of business-to-business WEEE was being generated by the UK. The research also showed that London boroughs generated 15% of this waste 132,000 tonnes per year.

C-Tech Innovation senior project manager David Gardner said: The UK total tonnage is around three times greater than the Environment Agencys estimate in 2007, which is based on the number of companies registering their waste through the EA. This suggests that companies are still not yet appreciating the implications of the WEEE Directive and are continuing to dispose of waste through traditional channels.

Under the WEEE Directive all businesses and organisations that use electrical and electronic equipment have to recycle and dispose of it separately from other waste. Its aim is to increase re-use and recycling and minimise the amount of WEEE going to landfill.

The technology consultancy worked with London Remade to gain a better understanding of the levels of WEEE being generated on a domestic level in the capital. Gardner explained: We worked with London Remade for around six months, starting in May 2007. We used a mass balance approach [a method of calculation] to ascertain the overall tonnage of electrical equipment sold in the UK. This was broken down to calculate the WEEE arisings in each borough of London, spilt down by ten WEEE product groups.

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