Assessing the amount of WEEE recycled in metal scrap

Posted by & filed under WEEE.

Between 4-5 million tonnes per year of light iron is recycled in the UK annually, which contains a certain amount of WEEE and, while it is correctly processed and recycled, it is not reported or counted as WEEE. This is known as non-obligated WEEE.

Large domestic appliances (LDA) form a proportion of this non-obligated WEEE and the Waste and Resource Action Programme (WRAP) embarked upon collection trials in late 2013/early 2014, which estimated LDA to be around 11% of the light iron stream.  This reports constitutes a major finding as it is possible that this non-obligated LDA (and any other identified WEEE streams) could potentially count towards the UK’s WEEE collection targets under the ‘substantiated evidence’ approach referenced in the Recast WEEE Directive. David Burton, Managing Director of Strateco commented, “I have been a strong advocate of the ‘substantiated estimates’ approach being used to assist the UK to meet the Directive targets – it is clear from the consistent 5% collection rate recorded under the WEEE regulations for non-household WEEE that 95% of it is going elsewhere outside of the WEEE system and it just needs to be identified and accounted for – preferably using protocols rather than requiring details reporting mechanisms”.

A summary report from WRAP sets out the methodology for data collection and interim findings and a full report, with further data, confirms that 10.87% (+/- 2.4%) of the light iron processed is LDA. More details from