Data reveals steady growth in the electrical and electronic industry

Provisional figures for the 2015 household waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) collections have been published by the Environment Agency for the final quarter of 2015.

The latest figures show that a total of 521,609 tonnes of WEEE was collected throughout the year. This exceeded the collection target set for WEEE Producer Compliance Schemes by more than 14,500 tonnes and is only 7,000 tonnes off the new proposed target for 2016.

Commenting on the figures, Vikkie Fitzgerald, project manager at Clarity Environmental, said: “There are no particular surprises in the EEE data; rather the figures paint a picture of steady growth within the industry, showing an increase in production across each of the 14 categories from 2014 to 2015. The Environment Agency has identified a couple of minor anomalies in the category 5 and category 10 figures, which will revise the numbers downwards once corrected.”

In 2015 the UK’s classification of household and business WEEE was amended after it was found to be at odds with that held by the European Commission. The UK guidance was amended and now states that any WEEE of a similar nature to that presented to householders, regardless of how much is presented, should be classed as household WEEE.

Vikkie said this year’s change in definition of household and business WEEE was visible in the figures: “Comparing individual categories from 2014 to 2015, you can see the impact of the dual use definition change most clearly in category 3 [IT equipment], with an 11,282 tonne increase year-on-year.

She added: “Cat 12 [cooling appliances] collections have also increased. This category has exceeded its target collection figure as well as showing a notable increase from 2014 of 6,852.594 tonnes, which is the equivalent of more than 200,000 fridges being recycled over just one year. Display tonnage, however, continues to fall with just over 74,000 tonnes collected in 2015, which is almost a 10,000 tonne drop from 2014.”

In February, the Department for Business Industry and Skills (BIS) outlined proposed targets for 2016 and asked stakeholders for their views. The new targets have been based upon the average annual growth in the tonnage of WEEE collected for recycling since 2011, reflecting the trend in the volumes collected over that time. Under the proposed target, compliance schemes will be required to collect a total of 528,000 tonnes of WEEE in 2016. The target is below the required 730,000 tonnes collection level needed to achieve the EU’s 45% target for the year. However, BIS has claimed ‘substantiated estimates’ of WEEE treated outside of the compliance system will supplement the amount collected by compliance schemes.

Vikkie’s comments on the 2015 WEEE data were published on letsrecycle.com. You can read the article here or view the full data on the gov.uk website.

Clarity WEEE Compliance

Our WEEE compliance scheme provides its members with low cost and simple compliance, alongside unrivalled member support. If you would like to discuss compliance with the WEEE regulations, get in touch with a member of our team on 0845 129 7177.

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