The Department for Business has opted to increase its proposed WEEE collection targets for 2016 following the release of household WEEE collection data.
BIS originally set out a proposed collection target of 528,687 tonnes for 2016, following the publication of data from the WEEE settlement centre for 2015, where schemes post WEEE evidence in February (see letsrecycle.com story). The settlement centre data suggested that around 512,000 tonnes of WEEE had been collected for the year.
2016 WEEE target:
544,341 tonnes of household WEEE
However, the Environment Agency subsequently published its provisional WEEE collection figures at the start of March, which suggested that schemes may have collected some tonnages on top of that which was posted as WEEE evidence. Consequently, the data suggested that collections had in fact topped 521,000 tonnes.
BIS has opted to further increase the collection target for WEEE to a total of 544,341 tonnes for 2016. This represents an increase of close to 37,000 tonnes when compared to the 2015 collection target.
The methodology used to calculate the target has been based upon the average annual growth in tonnes of WEEE collected for each category since 2011. According to BIS, using data over a five-year period mitigates the effect of outliers in tonnages, and reflects the general trend in collection volumes that are likely to arise.
On individual streams changes have particularly been seen in IT and telecoms equipment, with collection tonnages having increased in 2015 by close to 31% compared with an annual trend of 9% growth. This is likely to be a consequence of changes to the categorisation of ‘dual-use’ items – which can be used in a business or household setting, but until a change in ruling last year, had typically been counted towards business WEEE targets.
The 2016 target has been set at 56,762 tonnes, which represents the mid-point between the growth in collections in 2015, and the longer term trend.
One area in particular that has seen a change in collection targets since the analysis of household collection data is the large household appliances category, which has seen its individual target increased by around 10,000 tonnes compared to the original proposal.
Lamps have also been affected by the dual-use ruling. Nigel Harvey, chief executive of lamp WEEE compliance scheme Recolight, said: “In 2015, the UK household lamp collection target was 2680 tonnes. For 2016, BIS have increased this to nearly 6900 tonnes. That is a very large increase, but it does broadly make sense. Late in 2014, the UK decided to classify most lamps as “household”. That means the WEEE target has to go up to reflect the tonnage of household lamps that is likely to arise. But at the same time, many more lamps being sold are also recorded as household. So that in turn means the increased target is shared across many more producers, and much larger volume of lamp sales.
“This is fair. All producers of lamps now pay their share of the UK’s lamp recycling costs. Lamps arising from Local Authority HRWC sites should be needed by PCSs for their targets. It also means that businesses holding waste lamps can access free of charge recycling.“