March 30, 2010
The UK increased both its tonnage and percentage of household WEEE that was collected for recycling or re-use in 2009. This is still significantly behind the 65% goal that the European Commission has proposed to be introduced by 2016. (Figures published by the Environment Agency confirm this.)
The data recently released shows that 446,301.27 tonnes of household waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) was collected, the majority of this being from Civic Amenity sites. Figures for 2008 were 414,238.534 tonnes. This was quite surprising due to that fact that 9.86% less electrical equipment was put on the market in 2009 compared to 2008.
This equates to about 133,235.48 tonnes. In weight terms this means 7.31Kg of WEEE was collected per head of population. This is an increase on 2008 and means we are currently comfortably exceeding our European target. Having said this many campaigners are saying we need to do much more to make sure we meet increased targets that are expected by the EU WEEE Directive
It has been suggested that the increase from 2008-2009 has been put down to there being “more visibility” rather than more WEEE being recycled. This is because more people are now using approved authorised treatment facilities rather than the tradition avenues of disposal such as scrap yards.
The big question still remains however; where is the rest of the WEEE going, landfill maybe or perhaps unauthorised facilities? Recycling is a big issue that needs to be kept under control and have steps in place to make sure all recycling is done according to directives like the WEEE directive in place.