Electronics retailers are being urged to register for the fourth phase of the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) Distributor Take-back Scheme (DTS), which runs until the end of 2019.
The Scheme was set up under the WEEE regulations in 2007 to enable electronics retailers to meet their requirement to fund the collection of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), as an alternative to offering in store take-back of goods.
Participating retailers pay a fee to join the DTS – with proceeds used to fund and maintain local authority collection points as well as projects to boost the collection of WEEE.
Retailers opting not to participate in the scheme will instead have to set up their own returns scheme for WEEE to collect unwanted items directly from customers.
Producer compliance scheme Valpak will continue to oversee the running of the DTS, which is delivered in partnership with the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
Around 1,861 retailers signed up for the third phase of the scheme, which ran from January 2013 until the end of December 2016.
Alice Ellison, BRC environmental policy adviser, said: “The DTS has been a very positive initiative for retailers and aims to ensure that the funds are put to good use to increase collections of WEEE. We hope that local authorities will build on the imagination and initiative that many showed during previous phases and put forward a range of proposals that will help to develop WEEE collections for the future.”
Retailer membership fees are based upon the total value of electrical goods they have sold in UK stores, with small retailers with a turnover of less than £1.5 million per year paying a fixed fee of between £60-190 to join.
Larger retailers with a turnover of greater than £1.5 million per year will pay a banded fee which is based upon the volume of goods sold per year.
Registration for phase 4 of the scheme, which runs from January 2017 to December 2019 is open until 31 January.
In previous years, up to £700,000 in funding has been offered to councils for WEEE collection projects (see letsrecycle.com story). Councils can bid for up to £25,000 for a ‘standard’ project under the scheme, although higher bids which “provide exceptional value for money or allow for significant improvements in collections or reuse tonnages will be considered and may receive additional funding if deemed appropriate.”
Approval of funding for projects is considered by a panel consisting of representatives from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, WRAP, BRC, the National Association of Waste Disposal Officers and a representative of local authorities in the devolved administrations.
Commenting on phase 4 of the DTS, Adrian Hawkes, policy director at Valpak, said: “We are pleased to be confirmed to continue to operate the DTS, to provide continuity to the scheme. We are also pleased to be able to come up with an arrangement that meets the need of retailers and local authorities for another three years.”