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Decline in UK e-scrap collection volumes

United Kingdom – The total volume of electronic scrap collected in the UK during the first quarter of 2013 was lower than in the same period of 2012, indicates a new report from the country’s Environment Agency.

While 125 875 tonnes of household and non-household waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) was collected during the first three months of 2012, the total for January-March this year was only 112 415 tonnes. However, collection rates have risen to just over 30%.

Under the recast of the EU’s WEEE Directive, member states are expected to achieve a collection rate of 45% for electronic equipment sold on the market by 2016. By 2014, member states are required to have proper producer responsibility laws in place to meet that goal, as the EU seeks to prepare itself for a rapid influx of e-scrap over the next decade.

To address the apparent decline in the UK’s collection volumes, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) may propose changes to the current WEEE recycling programme next month.

Given the recent report by the Environment Agency, it is now more likely that changes will be made, with many in the industry calling for BIS to develop incentives to help WEEE recycling properly account for the costs attached to complying with producer responsibility laws. Any BIS proposals would not enter into effect until January 2014.

Source: Resource Recycling

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