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Q4 WEEE data shows failure to meet collection targets for 3rd year

2nd March 2020

Cherry Whittaker

Latest WEEE collected data released by the Environment Agency (1 March 2020) shows that collection targets have been missed for every category, which marks the third consecutive year of this being the case

To provide an overview, in 2019, WEEE compliance schemes collected 494,976 tonnes of WEEE in total which is equivalent to 90% of the target, being 550,577 tonnes.

Although this is an improvement on 2018 by 2,000 tonnes, it still falls short of the EU 65% of WEEE placed on market target. Last year, the EU’s overall target for WEEE collection rose from the equivalent of around 45% of the weight of new products placed onto the market during the last three years, to 65%. Many other European countries are also expected to miss this target.

2019 Targets vs Collected Tonnages

Table 1: 2019 WEEE collection targets vs actual WEEE collected in 2019

Table 1 shows that the most notable deficits are small mixed WEEE (SMW), particularly category 2 which is small household appliances, and category 14 (PV Panels). Overall, more WEEE was collected in 2019 compared to 2018, however, specifically, less SMW, categories 11 (display), 13 (gas discharge lamps) and 14 (PV panels) were collected.

UK WEEE targets were increased by a challenging 12% in 2019 (read more here about this) and alongside additional factors such as POPs, SMW recycling levels have clearly been negatively affected.  

Due to this overall shortfall, many compliance schemes are going to be impacted upon due to not meeting their collection targets, therefore, the 2019 compliance fee fund pot is likely to be significantly higher than last year.

Evidently, the current system is not working effectively; increasing targets without an improved policy framework has not been successful, highlighting that in order to increase the UK’s WEEE collection rate, the legislation need to be amended. We expect to see a consultation on revising the 2013 WEEE regulations by the end of 2020 – you can read more about the aims of this review HERE   

If you have any queries with regards to this data or how WEEE producers may be affected, please don't hesitate to contact us on weee@complydirect.com or call 01756 794 951