Is the UK on track to meet its WEEE recycling target? 2022 Q3 WEEE Collected Data Published.

9th December 2022

Catherine Horne

Achievement of UK WEEE Recycling target looks unlikely for 6th consecutive year following release of quarter 3 collection data.

The Environment Agency (EA) published the quarterly data detailing the collection of household WEEE by producer compliance schemes and their members between July and September last week (1 December).

The figures show producer compliance schemes collected 118,268 tonnes of WEEE in the third quarter of the year. This is a similar volume to the previous quarters of this year, lower than Q1 at 120,549, but positively, a slight increase on Q2 at 116,344. This means that producer compliance schemes are 69% of the way to their annual target.

For 2022, the EA set compliance schemes the target of collecting 511,377 tonnes of household WEEE, an increase of around 4% on 2021’s targeted volume. Producer compliance schemes have collected a total of 355,160 tonnes in 2022 so far, leaving a shortfall of over 156 tonnes to be collected in Q4 if target is to be met.

In Q4 2021 compliance schemes were successful in collecting 115,583 tonnes of WEEE, and as the country is tracking 5% lower on collection volumes in 2022 versus the same period in 2021, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that the UK recycling target will be met for the sixth consecutive year and will likely need for use of the compliance fee.

The cost-of-living crisis is likely to continue to have significant impact on the amount of EEE placed on the market and therefore, the amount of WEEE collected is likely to reflect this fall in volume. This can be seen particularly clearly in the collection of large household appliances and lighting equipment with just 67% of the target volumes for each category collected so far this year. In contrast, however, the collection of display equipment is so far looking hopeful of being achieved, with 78% of the required volume already collected.

Table 1.1 – Comparison of WEEE collected in Q1, Q2 and Q3

Table 1.2 – How each individual category is tracking towards their target.

If you have any questions relating to the WEEE recycling targets, contact our team on weee@complydirect.com or call 01756 794 951