UK halfway to WEEE targets

UK at 46% in halfway mark for WEEE recycling

Using a halfway measurement for the collection of household waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in 2022, the UK looks likely to again fail to meet it annual recycling targets for the sector.

The first six months of the year saw a total of 46.1% of the target achieved. This comes as targets were also missed for in each of the previous five years.

By means of comparison, 12 months ago a 47.5% recycling rate was reported for the first half of 2021.

From January to March 2022, a total of 120,852 tonnes of separately collected WEEE was collected from households

In the second quarter a total of 115,184 tonnes were collected, some 5,000 tonnes less than in the first quarter (although figures for the second quarter could yet change slightly).

Volumes of WEEE have been impacted by the pandemic with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs already having its target setting disrupted by having to discount the months at the heart of the pandemic.

And, now, figures for the amount of new electrical goods place in the market are expected to be much reduced because of the cost of living crisis, so reducing the amount of WEEE likely to arise this year.


For 2022, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) set compliance schemes the target of collecting 511,377 tonnes of household WEEE, an increase of around 4% from the 490,541 tonnes collected in 2021.

But, the likelihood of this target being met appears to be diminishing. In particular, large household appliances, are lagging behind. This is slightly unusual as larger appliances are often ‘distress purchases’ but may also reflect the cost-of-living crisis.



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