A campaign lobbying the government over unequal operating costs to small PC builders and resellers in the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive is gathering steam.
Spearheaded by the Independent Trade Association of Computing Specialists (ITACS), the campaign’s main goal is to get the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to revert to its original proposal of allowing small businesses to deposit their WEEE free of charge at their local distributor collection facility (DCF).
Hendy Armstrong, founder and secretary of ITACS, said: “WEEE could put a lot of small PC builders out of business. What we want is a very small change to the regulations. Originally the DTI wanted to include access for small firms to dispose of WEEE at DCFs, but at the consultation stage the local authorities opposed the idea. We are not against the principals of the directive – our problem is the huge cost of transporting WEEE to the treatment facilities that we now face.”
ITACS has drawn up a template letter for its 930 members to send to their local MPs. To date 40 MPs have responded claiming that they would raise the issue with the relevant DTI minister or pass it on to Alistair Darling, secretary of state for trade and industry.
Anthony Knee, owner of Keen PCs, said: “The ITACS campaign is a good idea. I haven’t sent a letter yet as I’m trying to get other PC firms in my town to club together and arrange a meeting with our local MP, which hopefully will have an impact.”
In a statement to CRN, the DTI said: “The government has been keen to work with small businesses and their representative organisations to ensure they are not disproportionately affected. It is disappointing therefore that ITACS did not take the opportunity to feed in its members concerns to the public consultation on the draft regulations that ended on 13 October last year.
“The DTI will be writing to ITACS regarding the various points it has raised to clarify a number of the misunderstandings.”
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