Resellers face increased costs with proposed recycling legislation from the European Commission.
Last week, two pressure groups ? the American Electronics Association (AEA) and Eurobit ? claimed the commission will pass legislation next year in the UK forcing computer vendors to shoulder 100 per cent of recycling costs on end-of-life hardware.
Sources at IT recycling specialists said the consumer will pay the ultimate burden, but resellers will face increased operating costs. Maurice McDonald, corporate procurement manager at Datrontech-owned remarketer RD Computers, said: ?As we understand it, the government wants to append recycling costs to all corporates at all levels of the supply chain, so resellers will be expected to take on a certain commitment to waste management as well as manufacturers.?
Stephen Haskew, national accounts manager at Technical Asset Management, a Welwyn Garden City-based IT recycling firm, said the recycling cost would be built into initial prices. But he warned: ?If a manufacturer drops out of the supply chain, the reseller will be expected to pick up the cost.?
Resellers may have to take responsibility for old machines when consumers go back for upgrades, he added.
The need for an IT recycling infrastructure is becoming acute as product cycles shorten. Haskew said many companies already want to dispose of Pentium 166MHz-based systems.
Earlier this month, IBM admitted disposing of 16,000 PC monitors in a UK landfill site instead of recycling them. Tax on landfill sites is expected to double at the next budget.
An EC representative confirmed that legislation was being discussed. Some member states have already implemented stiff guidelines, which include a ban on dumping of IT hardware.
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