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Retailers to fund councils’ collection of WEEE

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Councils are to receive one-off payments of between £5,000 and £6,000 to upgrade civic amenity sites for the collection of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). The payments will be funded through a compliance scheme set up by The British Retail Consortium, which has received the backing of the DTI.

The amount retailers are to pay councils has been cut from the £5m a year over five years originally suggested as necessary by the government. Retailers will now contribute to a fund of £8.2m over three years, based on their share of the UK market.

A free in-store take-back service will still be allowable for retailers to meet UK WEEE regulations. However, under the BRC proposal, consumers will be able to deposit WEEE at an approved designated collection point at their local civic amenity site. Retailers will be required to provide consumers with information regarding collection points for WEEE at point of sale, while producers will collect the WEEE from the sites and remove it for recycling. A proportion of the £8.2m retailers’ fund will also support public education to promote responsible disposal of WEEE.

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