Latest figures released by the Environment Agency indicate an increase in WEEE collected compared to the same period in 2018
The overall tonnage of WEEE collected has increased by 2117 tonnes compared to the same January-March period in 2018, with significant increases seen in category 14 (PV Panels) and category 12 (Cooling Appliances). Category 1 (Large Household Appliances) saw a record level of WEEE being collected when compared to any of the quarters in 2018.
Table 1: The difference in tonnes and % of WEEE collected in 2019 Q1 vs 2018 Q1
Whilst the numbers seem promising, it is important to remember that they are set against the backdrop of a 12% increase in collection targets in 2019. If WEEE collected for recycling is to continue at the current rate (the last few years actually suggest a downward trend is to be expected), it is looking likely that the UK will yet again fail to meet its targets (in 2018, the target was missed by almost 45,000 tonnes). Current standings show that all categories are just short of the quarterly 25% mark.
What does this tell us? Has the Compliance Fee money been spent to the best effect and achieved its intended purpose of increasing collections of WEEE? Is the fact that the Compliance Fee has been used repeatedly over the past few years, and to the extent that the pot is over £10 million, an indication that Government-set targets are unrealistic? This latest data perhaps suggests so.
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