Targets for the collection of waste electrical and electronic equipment – WEEE – have been confirmed for 2019, requiring an increase in collections of 12% compared to 2018 levels.
Defra, the government department which sets the target, has confirmed an overall collection goal of 550,577 tonnes for 2019.
The target, which has been described as ‘challenging’ by some sector experts, will mean that compliance schemes will need to increase collections of household WEEE by up to 58,000 tonnes compared to the previous year.
A higher collections target is required for the UK to meet its European Union requirement to collect equivalent to 65% of the weight of EEE placed on the market during the three previous years. Up to now the target level has stood at 45%.
In documents outlining the new targets, Defra explained that higher targets are needed to reflect the EU goals.
However, the higher target comes following two consecutive years of targets having been missed. Data published early last month suggested that the UK fell short of its WEEE collection target for 2018 by around 45,000 tonnes, achieving an overall collection rate of 492,500 tonnes.
Failure to meet targets means that some producer compliance schemes will be required to pay into a ‘Compliance Fee’ fund in order to fulfil their recycling obligations for the year.