The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has announced yet another delay to the implementation of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive, marking the fourth delay since the original timetable was drawn up.
The channel has been waiting for the past few months for an official announcement from the DTI on the government’s guidance for implementing the WEEE regulations. Although the DTI has not stated how long the delay will be, speculation among the recycling industry is that it will now be between six months and a year.
Energy minister Malcolm Wicks, said in a statement late last week: “The directive is challenging and effective implementation of its obligations requires a lot of planning and preparation – it is vital that the producers, retailers and the waste industry, together with government, have the appropriate plans, infrastructure and regulations in place.
“We have listened to the concerns expressed by both the business community and other stakeholders over the implementation process and have decided that more time is needed
to get the implementation right. Although any further delay is regrettable, this will ultimately deliver far greater environmental benefits.”
He added that a formal consultation on draft regulations and guidance will take place in the Spring.
Liz Parkes, head of waste regulation at the Environment Agency, said: “While we are keen to see producer responsibility implemented for WEEE, we want to be confident that it will deliver benefits for the environment.”
Registration for producers was due to begin on 4 January but as CRN went to press no announcement had been made as to whether the DTI still expected producers to register in January.
Mike Lawrence, managing director of VAR Bentpenny, said: “This delay has come as no surprise. It doesn’t help the channel at all as we still don’t know what we’re responsible for under the directive.”
Shaune Parsons, managing director of VAR Computer World Wales, said: “One of our clients wants to know how we’d help them comply under WEEE of the disposal of interactive whiteboards at end of life. We can’t answer that because the regulations still haven’t been announced.”
Jon Godfrey, managing director of Lifecycle Services, added: “The legislation has started to lack credibility among resellers and my concern is that they’ll stop preparing for WEEE and then be caught off guard when the regulations finally come into force.”
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