Producers and retailers of electrical equipment have this week launched a £665,000 fund to support projects, led by local authorities, which will deliver increased levels of re-use and recycling of waste electrical equipment.
Proposals are now being sought from local authorities working with partner organisations for initiatives which are “innovative, sustainable and which aim to drive collections of waste electrical equipment for re-use and recycling”. Applications have to be in by September 29.
Commenting on the fund, environment minister Thérèse Coffey said: “With more than a million tonnes of electrical equipment waste generated in the UK each year, it is encouraging to see that around 60% is already being recycled or reused.
“We want to build on this, and todays’ funding will help support creative local projects that encourage us to do even more to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill.”
The fund is created via the UK’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations which aim to “ensure that producers and distributors of electrical equipment finance the cost of its collection and proper treatment when it becomes waste”.
The funds announced come from the Distributor Takeback Scheme (DTS) and the Compliance Fee mechanism both established under the UK WEEE Regulations. The DTS is supported by retailers and internet sellers as their way of financing the collection and recycling/reuse of WEEE.
The WEEE compliance fee receives funding from UK manufacturers and importers of electrical equipment under a system which, in specific circumstances, allows obligated businesses and schemes to pay into the fee scheme as an alternative to offering evidence of recycling which can be bought during the year.
In store or DTS
The DTS is one of two ways which distributors (usually retailers) can meet their obligations under the WEEE Regulations. Under the regulations distributors of EEE must either; offer in store take back of waste electrical equipment on a one for one, like-for-like basis on sale of a new item. In addition a collection point must be provided for very small items (under 25cm) if the sales area for electricals exceeds 400m².
Or, the distributor/retailer can join the DTS instead. Run by Valpak Retail WEEE Services, it allows members an exemption from the in-store take back requirements. The DTS is the only scheme approved by government which allows members an alternative to offering take back of electrical waste.
The DTS has been operating since 2007. Phase 4 of the scheme runs from January 2017- December 2019.
The WEEE compliance fee fund for 2016 is operated by Grant Thornton UK according to a methodology put forward by Valpak and approved by Government. The compliance fee allows companies acting to discharge obligations on behalf of producers of electricals to pay a compliance fee if they have not been able to collect sufficient WEEE to meet targets set by the government.
Further information and application packs are available from email@example.com