Collection data for the first quarter of 2016 published by the Environment Agency shows that the UK has made progress towards meeting its WEEE recycling target for the year.
The provisional data, which has been available via the Agency’s website since last week (June 3), shows that a total of 141,379 tonnes of all categories of WEEE were collected for recycling between January and April 2016.
Overall, the target for the collection of 544,341 tonnes of WEEE has been set for the year, which means that a quarterly collection rate of 136,085 tonnes will need to be achieved for the target to be met (see letsrecycle.com story).
Compared to the same period in 2015, the data shows that collections have risen by close to 12,000 tonnes when 129,714 was collected for recycling.
Commenting on the figures, WEEE account manager for compliance scheme Clarity Environmental, Vikkie Fitzgerald, said: “The data for the first quarter of 2016 shows that the UK is on track to meet or exceed its collection target for the year, allaying some concerns that the 7% increase from would be difficult to achieve. The figures show an increase in WEEE returned of over 11,500 tonnes (or 11%) when compared to the first quarter of 2015 and each stream is achieving broadly the same rate of collection.”
Commenting on the figures, Nick Purser of ERP UK added that the data suggests that the targets are in line with the trends that the government used to set the targets.
He said: “There are several things that stand out from the data for me, they are that generally everything is on the up. Because material prices are low, this means that more is coming through the formal system. This could be a result of the dual use change.
“There is also notably an increase in amount collections through regulation 50 collections which is takeback from private households or any collection that is not from a designated collection facility. That could be small businesses or it could also point to the fact that other routes are opening up and people are aware of other ways they can recycle WEEE.”
Philip Morton, chief executive of Repic, added: “The figures look on track and are comparable with what was achieved in the first quarter of last year. Display is up, but arguably this is in line with the first few months of 2015.”
Robbie Staniforth of ecosurety also noted that the data appears to point towards the target being within grasp for 2016, adding that the effects of changes in the classification of ‘dual-use’ WEEE are “starting to settle down”.