The Government’s WEEE Regulations Announcement
The government has announced that it has chosen option 3 from those it was considering from the recent BIS consultation. We at Recolight realise that this will fundamentally change the household WEEE system in the UK.
For one, this will eliminate the ‘must buy’ market and the WEEE evidence trading that blight the current system. The result of the choice is a mechanism that can, provided it is implemented correctly, drive up household recycling rates, improve traceability and prevent excessive third party costs.
We, along with the Lighting Industry Association and others, have worked within the wider Joint Trade Association (JTA), to push for regulatory change. Many of our producer members also responded to the Government’s consultation. As a result, we now have a system which should ensure that WEEE is sustainable in the long term.
Upcoming changes to WEEE Regulations
Looking at some of the finer detail for the new legislation, we can see that for the lighting industry, there are several important outcomes that are expected to come into effect from the beginning of 2014.
GDL and LED Category
Gas Discharge Lamps and LED light sources will be in the same category. This is a common sense approach which recognises the change taking place in the lighting market. It also reduces the risk of an unfunded fluorescent lamp waste stream in the years to come.
The change to the household WEEE system means the threat that independent waste collectors could charge excessive costs has gone.
The non-household (B2B) WEEE system remains largely unchanged. We will continue to provide a free collection and recycling service through 1,500 of our collection points right across the UK.
WEEE Compliance for Small Producers
The draft legislation includes a de minimis of 5 tonnes of electrical and electronic equipment put on the market, below which there is no requirement for a producer to join a scheme. They are also registered as “Small Producers”.
We are calling on small WEEE producers not to miss the 31st January deadline for registering as a small producer.
Recolight Associate Membership
As an alternative, companies can stay with or join a Producer Compliance Scheme. In response to this new clause, we are now offering Recolight Associate Membership for smaller lighting industry producers. This includes registration as a small producer, at a low, all inclusive charge.
We have written to all our members that are now classed as small producers to give them an option to stay as an Associate Member of Recolight. So far, all have opted to become Associate Members. This will ensure they continue to benefit from Recolight’s collection network and have the assurance that their B2B collection obligations will still be met.
The final version of the Regulations will come into force from 1 January 2014, after being laid before parliament