December 21, 2011
The electronic waste recycling industry is seeking to enlist the help of councils to boost the percentage of electrical and electronic devices which are recycled, before tough new European targets come into force.
WEEE connect, a Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) industry partnership, has funded its own TV advertising campaign, due to run more than 800 times on a series of Sky channels in the four weeks from Boxing Day, reaching an estimated 34 million viewers nationwide.
Organizers of the £56,000 campaign, thought be the first of its kind in Europe, are calling on local authorities to support the initiative with local campaigns to increase awareness of recycling electronics.
The campaign is focused on household items, as many of these are discarded when new versions are received as Christmas gifts. But the WEEE regulations apply equally to ICT and telecommunications equipment used by councils themselves.
One local authority which is joining in the campaign is Medway council in Kent, which is running a schools promotion to link up with the TV campaign. A ‘WEEE amnesty day’ is also planned for January, when visitors to a local shopping centre will be able to dispose of items in a large pink skip.
Under the UK’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (Amendment) Regulations 2009, which came into force on 1 January 2010 to implement new EU rules, the UK has committed to electrical and electronics recycling targets of 70% of small household appliances; 75% of IT and telecoms equipment; and 80% of large household appliances by 2016. Last year, the overall WEEE collection rate for households was just 38.4%.
While there have been government-run campaigns to boost WEEE awareness, the new industry-led initiative is the first time the issue has received TV exposure.