October 26, 2010
The recast of the WEEE Directive has been delayed for the third time, as the revised legislation is now only due to reach the European Parliament in 2011. They had been due to vote on a revision to WEEE intended to sort out a few shortcomings and uncertainties in the current legislation. Introduction of a higher collection target and separate reuse target are included in the proposed changes.
It is estimated that EU e-waste will grow to 12 million tonnes per year by 2020, and the EU WEEE Directive was set up to try and counteract the impact of this. Only about a third of electronic waste in the EU is currently being treated according to the WEEE directive, with the other two thirds entirely unaccounted for.
The changes could potentially mean that the UK would have to increase its rate of electronic waste recycling considerably.
However, it is unlikely to appear on the Environmental Council’s agenda for their December meeting as there has been no first reading position received from the European parliament. This means that it probably won’t be taken up during the Belgian presidency, prolonging uncertainty over just how hard-hitting the new WEEE collection target percentages to be set by the recast will be.
Recycling all over the world is important as the amount of electronic equipment being produced keeps increasing. We need to have recycling systems in place so no old electronic waste is thrown into land fills, which will eventually cause toxins to leek into the soil and destroy the environment.