UK hits WEEE targets for 2016

The overall target for WEEE collected in the UK in 2016 has been reached. Earlier this month, DEFRA confirmed that a total of 581,415 tonnes of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) was collected, up 15% on 2015’s tonnages. A number of individual targets were missed, including those for lamps and IT equipment.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has proposed an overall target of 633,643 tonnes of WEEE to be collected in 2017, an increase of 8% on 2016’s targets. Proposed targets for 2017 see a 27% increase for large household appliances and a 13% decrease for lamps, reflecting actual tonnages collected in 2016.

Russell Hirst, Managing Director, Wiser Recycling says: “Huge tonnages of WEEE are collected by Approved Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATTFs) and don’t count towards DEFRA’s targets because compliance schemes have met their requirements and don’t need the evidence. Whilst we fully support higher targets, we would like to see a scheme that encourages maximum WEEE recycling and recovery and accurately reflects the marketplace.”

In 2016, low government targets for WEEE caused turmoil in the industry as compliance schemes reached their targets early leaving local authorities struggling to get their WEEE collected.

The current proposed WEEE targets for 2017 are draft and Wiser Recycling has consulted on these with DEFRA. The final targets for 2017 are due out next week and Wiser Recycling is hoping that DEFRA will impose increases on most categories.