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Environment Agency urges sign up for WEEE schemes

The Environment Agency today (29 March) urged companies that produce, rebrand or import electrical and electronic
equipment (EEE), such as televisions and toasters, to make sure they are signed up with an approved WEEE compliance scheme.

Liz Parkes, Head of Waste at the Environment Agency, said: “From an initial telephone survey conducted last week, we know that more than 3,000 businesses have signed up so far.
This is encouraging news that shows many companies are getting the message about the new WEEE Regulations and what they need to do.

“If anyone has missed the deadline, our advice is to get yourself into a scheme as soon as possible. With 37 on offer
there is plenty of choice and competition, so make sure you sign up with a scheme that's best for you.

“Signing up late is better than leaving it altogether. Unregistered producers will have committed an offence and if you leave it too late, you risk getting prosecuted.” The WEEE Regulations will implement the EU WEEE Directive in the UK from 1 July 2007. With electrical waste now one of the fastest-growing waste streams across Europe – expanding at around three times the rate of general waste – the aim of the Directive is to encourage more recycling, recovery and re-use, and ultimately divert more used goods away from landfill.

Liz Parkes continued: ” The progress so far in implementing the WEEE Regulations has been positive given the challenging
timetable. The regulations are an essential tool for reducing massive amount old electrical and electronic equipment currently thrown into landfill sites each year. “Importantly, the regulations place the responsibility for – and the cost of – reducing environmental impact on those who
profit from making the goods in the first place. The more electronics a producer puts on the market, the more WEEE it must ensure is dealt with safely.
Compliance schemes have been set up to help those companies affected by the WEEE Regulations by collecting and recycling
products on their behalf. Registration fees – which recover the regulators' costs for apportioning recycling obligations
fairly between schemes and ensuring they do the right thing – reflect the scale and impact of individual businesses in a
fair and proportionate way.
As part of the drive to make unregistered producers aware of the regulations, the Environment Agency will be targeting
companies it considers as potentially needing to join a compliance scheme through advertisements and a telephone campaign. This work will run alongside efforts by the
Department for Trade and Industry, who will also be reminding producers for their responsibilities.
For the full list of approved compliance schemes and their contact details, along with further information on the WEEE
Regulations, visit www.environment agency.gov.uk/weee or
contact the Environment Agency on 08708 506 506.

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