Companies who produce electrical and electronic equipment are today (1 February 2007) being reminded by the Environment Agency to register in order to comply with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations.
Liz Parkes, Head of Waste at the Environment Agency, said: “From 1 July 2007, producers of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) will be responsible for paying for the treatment and recycling of products at the end of their life.
“Many producers will not have the facilities to do this themselves and so will join a compliance scheme. These schemes will help companies meet the requirements of the WEEE Regulations by collecting and recycling products on their behalf.
“We have now started to approve the compliance schemes that applied to us during January. Producers of EEE in England and Wales have until 15 March 2007 to join an approved scheme. We urge producers including manufacturers, rebranders and importers of EEE, to start exploring potential compliance schemes and join one as soon as possible in order to be ready for 1 July – 'WEEE Day'.”
As part of the registration process, producers will need to pay a registration fee to the compliance scheme they would like to join and supply data on how much electrical and electronic equipment they placed on the market in 2006. They also need to say whether this equipment was for household or business use.
Each compliance scheme will then have until 31 March to register its members with the Environment Agency, which will issue each producer with a WEEE producer registration number. The producer will need to give this registration number to anyone who distributes or sells their products.
Liz Parkes continued: “As the main regulator for the WEEE regulations in England and Wales, we are working hard to meet the deadlines and to ensure producers fully understand their responsibilities. Used electrical and electronic goods form one of the fastest growing waste streams across the EU, expanding at three times the rate of general waste.
“With most of this type of waste being landfilled and very little being recycled, these regulations aim to minimise the end-of-life impacts of EEE on the environment and make sure it is dealt with in an environmentally responsible manner.”
For further information on approved compliance schemes and the WEEE regulations, visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk/weee or contact the Environment Agency on 08708 506 506.