The Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) today announced a fund of £775K is available to Local Authorities for local WEEE Improvement Projects. Of this, £375K is allocated from the 2014 WEEE Compliance Fee Fund (WCF) and the remainder is from the Distributor Takeback Scheme (DTS).
The Joint Trade Associations (JTA) has warmly welcomed this news. In September 2014, the JTA submitted to BIS a proposed methodology for calculating WEEE compliance fees. The methodology was developed by professional external economists – FTI. In February 2015, BIS advised stakeholders that it had chosen this methodology.
Commenting on the news, JTA chairman Richard Hughes, who is also technical manager at AMDEA said: “Today’s announcement shows the BIS decision to introduce a compliance fee mechanism in the revised WEEE Regulations was correct. The mechanism is essential for a healthy WEEE system that will continue to deliver the benefits of reducing red tape and meeting the national collection target. The funds allocated will provide invaluable support to Local Authorities to improve their WEEE collections.”
He added: “The Regulations provide a right of free uplift of WEEE to Local Authorities and a right for retailers to deliver WEEE free of charge into the system. That means no Local Authority or Retailer need ever be faced with treatment costs unless they choose to retain control of the WEEE. Following the news this March that the UK met its 2014 WEEE collection targets, it is very pleasing to see yet another sign that the UK’s new WEEE system is working well.”
Simon Eves, deputy chairman of the JTA, chairman of the Environment Strategy Council at techUK and head of environmental affairs at Panasonic UK said: “At the request of BIS, the JTA has agreed an aligned fund application process with the administrators of the DTS. Local Authorities now have a single application form to access both WEEE related funds. That makes great sense. Just as the DTS provides retailers with an alternative means of complying with their obligations, so the Compliance Fee mechanism provides Producers, through their Compliance Schemes, with an alternative means of complying with theirs.
He added: “As detailed in the JTA proposal, the WEEE Compliance Fee Fund will provide Local Authorities with opportunities to invest in innovative approaches to WEEE. Specific uses of the Fund include local projects that contribute to higher levels of collection, treatment, and re-use of household WEEE. It is important to note that the fund cannot be used to meet normal operating costs or to pay for non-household WEEE. Details of how Local Authorities may apply for both WEEE Compliance Fee and DTS funds are on the dedicated website