Local authorities and others linked to the collection and recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) are being encouraged to prepare ideas and potential projects for funding from an £8 million fund.
The money comes via the disbursement of the 2017 WEEE compliance fee fund. The fee is a regulatory tool used by the government in 2017 in support of the delivery of the WEEE regulations. If a producer compliance scheme (PCS) misses its target, it has an option to pay a compliance fee for the tonnage shortfall.
Details of the fund were given to the recent letsrecycle.com WEEE conference by Susanne Baker head of environment and compliance at techUK, which is responsible for running the WEEE fund with the Joint Trade Association grouping. This includes associations ranging from the domestic appliance sector to toys and batteries.
Ms Baker explained that the fund available is almost £8 million and will be given out in accordance with guidance from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) “to help the UK meet WEEE directive obligations.”
The funds will go to projects which aim to:
- To support higher levels of collection, recycling and re-use for household
- WEEE Initiatives designed to assist the UK to meet its obligations under the WEEE Directive
- Other projects that support the strategic aims of the WEEE Directive.
To determine who will receive the money, a panel is to be set up from and Defra and the WEEE stakeholder community.
It is likely, said Ms Baker, that there will be three types of projects, technical, local and on communications/behaviour change.
And in terms of the allocation of the fund, she said: “We are thinking around £1 million going on technical projects for research. The second tranche of activity is £4m for local projects over a three year period. And, thirdly about £3 million for a communications and behaviour change fund.” The latter fund she suggested, is likely to involve WRAP.
Support is likely for work to be carried out via the ICER trade group on POPs – persistent organic pollutants. Support is also possible for work by the WEEE scheme forum on protocols for mixed WEEE. And, detailed research work on targets and WEEE arisings being undertaken at Lancaster University, is also a candidate for support.
So far, just the technical projects side of the fund is open to bidding. “We are making an open-call for project ideas,” said Ms Baker. Funding on the technical side could see £700,000 allocated this year with £150,000 per annum for rounds two and three over the next two years.
Local authority groups LARAC and NAWDO as well as the third sector Reuse Network are to be consulted on the best approach for local projects, with agreement likely around September. With £4 million available, there could be a link between some projects and the communications part of the fund.
On communications and behaviour change, a number of communication agencies and WRAP are expected to pitch for funding.