Electronic Equipment: Recycling

Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform written question – answered on 21st January 2008.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham PPS (Mr Mike O'Brien, Minister of State), Department for Work and Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps the Government has taken to encourage the recycling of electrical equipment.

Photo of Malcolm Wicks Malcolm Wicks Minister of State (Energy), Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform

holding answer 17 January 2008

The waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) directive aims to minimise the impact of electrical and electronic goods on the environment, by increasing re-use and recycling and reducing the amount of WEEE going to landfill. It introduces producer responsibility for WEEE. Producers must finance the collection, treatment and recycling/recovery of waste electrical equipment. Distributors supplying electrical and electronic equipment to household end users must provide facilities for waste equipment to be returned free of charge.

The UK Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations 2006, implementing the WEEE directive, were laid before the House on 12 December 2006 and entered into force on 2 January 2007 with producer responsibility commencing from 1 July 2007.

The WEEE directive also requires member states to establish adequate collection facilities to enable consumers to discard their WEEE from other forms of waste free of charge. In the UK, local authority civic amenity sites have registered their sites as designed collection facilities (DCFs) where consumers can return their WEEE for free. Producers, through their Producer Compliance Schemes, are liable for the costs of collecting, treating and recycling household WEEE from a DCF. Consumers can locate details of their nearest recycling centre from http://recycle-more.co.uk/

The Department will undertake a campaign to raise consumer awareness later this year. Information on the WEEE regulations is also available from the BERR website at http://www.dti.gov.uk/innovation/sustainability/weee/page30269.html

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