Four leading manufacturers of electrical and electronic appliances - Braun, Electrolux, Hewlett-Packard and Sony - have set up the first pan-European take-back and compliance scheme for waste from electrical and electronic equipment.
The initiative, dubbed the European Recycling Platform Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Compliance Scheme, is in response to the European WEEE Directive, which is due to come into effect across Europe next year.
To administer the scheme, which will roll out across seven countries including the UK, the companies have established a limited company, European Recycling Platform SAS, based in Paris.
"Our objective is to create the most cost-efficient WEEE take-back compliance scheme and to stimulate competition between WEEE take-back systems in all EU [European Union] countries," said Hans Korfmacher, assigned president of the European Recycling Platform.
The company revealed it will outsource operational activities, including recycling, logistics and administrative work to manage the operational activities, to at least two general contractors.
A high proportion of IT users, 29 per cent, either dump or store discarded equipment, according to the Environmental Survey carried out by an independent researcher for MIREC Asset Management. The survey questioned SMEs in the UK about their attitudes towards the WEEE Directive.
The lighter IT users, usually smaller firms, are far more likely to admit to taking the dumping or storing option. One respondent even admitted to leaving kit in a skip "out-back" in the hope that light-fingered locals would help themselves.
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