Following proposed revisions to the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive, channel players have predicted refurbished kit dealers could enjoy a successful 2009.
The proposed revisions set a new collection target of 65 per cent of the equipment put on the market each year during the past two years. Previously, EU member states were required to collect an annual 4kg of waste kit per head from private households.
The change, which takes effect from 2016, has been proposed because larger states, such as the UK, are exceeding the target while those producing less waste are struggling.
The European Commission (EC) claims that the 65 per cent figure has been bolstered by five per cent to include the amount of WEEE it believes should be re-used.
Richard Parker, managing director of reseller EOL IT Services, told CRN he would welcome the introduction of a separate re-use target. “It would be good if there was additional focus on refurbishment,” he said.
“Destroying products and recreating them creates a huge amount of carbon emissions and, wherever possible, re-using equipment is better.”
The EC claims 80 per cent of the weight of equipment that enters the market each year becomes waste.
Just over a quarter of this is collected and recycled while 10 per cent ends up in landfill. Forty-two per cent is collected but not accounted for and only two per cent is re-used.
Rod Haddrell, managing director of VAR Tindirect, claimed the directive’s increased focus on re-use was too little, too late.
“I do not think target setting is going to change people’s habits,” he said. “The WEEE directive is complex and I cannot see that legislation can make changes come about – there must be a commercial driver.”
Haddrell claimed buying refurbished kit is now more accepted and sales could benefit from reduced IT budgets next year. “Twenty years ago sales guys belittled used equipment, but it is now perceived as legitimate,” he said.
“Customers who previously may not have looked at used kit as a solution are now doing precisely that.”
David Galton-Fenzi, group sales director of distributor Zycko, claimed business failures could lead to a glut of refurbished kit in 2009.
“Second-hand equipment will come into its own,” he said. “If you have 50 per cent less budget, the stigma of buying used kit will go quickly as the market demands it.”
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