Resellers have expressed major concerns over a lack of licensed waste disposal sites to handle the proper disposal of electronic waste when
the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive be-comes law next year.
“We have learned that there are only four recycling plants in the country that can handle WEEE waste, which is clearly nowhere near enough,” said Mike Lawrence, managing director of VAR Bentpenny and head of the Stroud branch of the Federation of Small Businesses.
“Whether any more licensed facilities are going to be set up I don’t know. “The government doesn’t seem to have put in place, or even be thinking about putting in place, the necessary infrastructure to process the WEEE material.”
Although there is an abundance of specialist recycling firms in the UK available to help resellers comply with WEEE, they don’t provide disposal processes such as extracting hazardous metals from PCs and melting down the hardware.
“The facility would also need equipment to melt down steel and iron, and these specialist recycling firms are not providing these services. That is why the government needs to set up more licensed recycling facilities to do this,” Lawrence said.
Leanne Gravil, branch manager at VAR CBC Computer Systems, said: “Everyone has heard of the WEEE directive but we still don’t know any detail. We need to know where to take our waste.
“I’d be really interested to know the locations of these licensed disposal sites in the North,” she added.
Steve Russell, managing director of IT asset management firm BTR UK, claimed that facilities in Europe are better equipped than in the UK.
“We use disposal sites in Europe as it is much further ahead on WEEE than the UK. The waste disposal facilities are much more advanced.
“I’d much prefer to send some material for WEEE processing to Europe so that it’s treated properly, rather than send it to a UK-based ‘old-school’ waste operator that isn’t compliant with WEEE,” he said.
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