The payments are intended to fund the collection of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and other associated recycling and re-use projects.
Under the WEEE regulations, distributors of electrical items must either offer instore take-back of WEEE on a one-for-one, like-for-like basis or join the DTS.
Set up in 2007, the DTS allows distributors of electrical items to offset their takeback obligations by paying into a funding pot and directing their customers to their local household waste recycling centre.
The DTS is operated by Valpak Retail WEEE Services, which provides standard project funding guidelines for local authorities applying for between £10,000 to £90,000. Valpak says this allows for bids to “provide a variety of activities and potential for significant uplift in WEEE collections or reuse tonnages”.
An additional ‘fast track’ application option for smaller scale projects looking for funding of up to £20,000 is also available.
In a statement sent to local authorities last week, Valpak said: “Bids are invited not only from local authorities themselves but also from commercial or third sector organisations, including but not limited to charities and re-use and reconditioning organisations who can demonstrate they are working in conjunction with local authorities.”
Valpak proposes to provide a single payment for those local authorities looking for £25,000 or less.
However, for larger projects this would be split into staged payments. Each payment would be conditional on the provision of evidence of meeting stated project targets.
An independent third party will assess bids based on pre-agreed selection criteria, Valpak says. Recommended successful projects are to be vetted by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for final approval.
The DTS is currently in its fifth phase, meaning four phases of funding preceded it. Phase 5 runs from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2021.
Phase 4, which ran from January 2017 to December 2019, saw two rounds of funding of £183,292 and £601,020 given to local authorities for projects such as the development of new collection points at household waste recycling centres to improve WEEE collection rates throughout the UK. It also financed two external research projects.