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Environment Agency Releases 2017 Q2 WEEE Data

4th September 2017

Faye Perry

WEEE collected in the UK continues to fall according to data released by the Environment Agency

Latest figures indicate that the total volume of WEEE collected in the UK has continued to fall with a decrease of 238 tonnes on Q1 2017 and 17,821 tonnes (11%) on Q2 2016. Compared to the same period in 2016, tonnages have dipped across all categories with the exception of Monitoring and Control (category 9) and Photovoltaic Panels (category 14) which have seen increases of 82% and 13% respectively. The two categories combined, however, account for less than 1% of the overall WEEE collected in the UK this quarter.

The release of the Q2 data was accompanied by revisions to the Q1 data released in June (see our original story here):

  • Large Household Appliances (category 1) has increased by 3134.6 tonnes to bring figures more in line with Q1 2016.
  • Slight, but not significant, increases for categories 2,3,4,6,7,9,11,12 and 13. Tonnages on the whole, however, remain lower than Q1 2016.

Notable changes when comparing 2017 Q2 to 2016 Q2 WEEE collection levels:

  • Large Household Appliances (category 1) continues the trend set in Q1 with a reduction of more than 7400 tonnes from the 2016 Q2 level.
  • Small Mixed WEEE (categories 2-10) shows a combined fall of over 4300 tonnes on Q2 2016.
  • Display Equipment (category 11) again shows a decrease of over 25%, reaffirming that technological advances over recent years are resulting in reduced television screen and PC monitor weights.  
  • Photovoltaic Panels (category 14) has increased by 4.3 tonnes since Q2 2016 and shows its highest tonnage since Q3 2015.

Despite the odd slight increase, these continued lower collection levels in general point to challenging times if UK targets are to be met by the end of the year.

The above graph highlights the continuing shortfall against the mid-year target for each category. All categories are hovering under the 50% mark with the exception of Photovoltaic Panels (category 14) which has shown a dramatic increase (3120%) on Q1 2017 to reach 90% of its annual target. With its highest tonnage in a couple of years, it looks as though PV panels is set to easily meet its reduced 2017 target.  

The Q2 WEEE collected data does again correspond with EEE placed on the market data, which has also seen a decrease in Q2 2017 compared to Q2 2016 – total placed on the market EEE tonnages have reduced by over 26,000 tonnes. A lower tonnage of EEE placed on the market generally comes with a lower tonnage of EEE reaching end of life and thus being collected. The reduction in WEEE collected, according to the Environment Agency speaking at a WEEE conference in June, can also be attributed to an increase in the number of Approved Authorised Treatment Facility (AATF) applications being rejected resulting in a reduction in WEEE evidence produced on the back of recycling activity.  

The release of Q3 and Q4 data will be an interesting read and will allow us to better determine whether the increased targets this year are achievable.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the latest data further, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our WEEE team at weee@complydirect.com.