Local authorities have to register their WEEE collection sites, also known as designated collection facilities, with BIS. Under the WEEE Regulations retailers can either fund local authorities to run these sites and collect WEEE for them or provide an in-store WEEE collection take-back scheme.
BIS last published a list of local authority WEEE DCFs in 2008. The 2010 list includes local authorities across the country and the PCSs they work with. PCSs include names such as Valpak, Electrolink, WeeeCare, WERCS, Repic, ERP and DHL.
Repic chief executive Philip Morton told MRW: “Local authorities, companies operating local authority sites and distributors alike currently have two choices. They can deal directly with a PCS that needs WEEE to fulfil its members’ obligations, or indirectly through one that doesn’t.
“The latest BIS list shows growing numbers choosing the direct route, which is great news for everyone. Direct routes can provide clearer tracking of where WEEE comes from and goes to, and greater transparency helps avoid poor or illegal routes.”
Morton said a more transparent system means that more WEEE will be captured and less will leak from the system.
He added: “We prefer to deal directly with the organisation operating the sites that collect WEEE, so that it is treated in the UK, a full audit trail can be provided and any unnecessary handling or transactions can be removed.
“DCF operators benefit from this arrangement too. A short, auditable route gives them security, peace of mind about where the WEEE they collect goes to, who actually funds the recycling, and it also reduces the opportunity for sub-standard treatment of leakage. “Increased awareness of this issue now means DCF operators routinely ask PCSs to confirm they can accept their WEEE before renewing contracts.”
The publication of the updated list comes after last year’s High Court judge ruling for the Repic v BERR et al case. The judge said that compliance schemes must have a viable plan in place to collect no more and no less WEEE than is necessary to meet its obligations.
A situation occurred last year where PCS Electrolink was contracted to fund the collection and processing of WEEE by a number of local authorities and producers and had a lot more collection sites than Repic so ended up with a surplus of evidence notes. Repic, on the other hand, did not have enough collection sites to provide notes required to meet its members’ obligations under the WEEE Regulations and had to buy these notes from Electrolink to balance its obligations.