Press release

Recycling up and costs down under new regime

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment being recycled has increased.

The amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment being recycled has increased under a new regulatory regime which has also delivered millions of pounds of savings to business.

New Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations introduced in 2014 saw a 4% increase in collections compared to 2013 and estimated savings to producers of electrical equipment in excess of £18 million.

The new WEEE regulations implemented commitments under the environmental theme of the Red Tape Challenge to reduce producer compliance costs and transposed the requirements of the recast WEEE directive that included new collection targets imposed on member states.

Business Minister Matthew Hancock said:

I am committed to cutting red tape and freeing up business to create jobs and prosperity. By listening to industry through our Red Tape Challenge, we have improved the way we regulate the recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment and, as a result, have saved firms in this industry almost £20 million in one year - at the same time as increasing the amount of fridges, freezers, computers and other products we recycle and beating our collection target.

We are committed to working with businesses to identify areas that have gone well but also to identify what more can be done to build on a successful first year.

The amount of WEEE collected and financed by producers for 2014 is set out below:

Type 2013 Collections (tonnes) 2014 Collection target (tonnes) 2014 collections* (tonnes)
Large domestic appliances 154,667 176,018 167,193
Small mixed WEEE 118,215 126,486 125,442
TVs and Monitors 100,255 77,187 84,164
Fridges and freezers 100,739 109,469 112,274
Lamps 834 840 1,933
Total 474,711 490,000 491,007

*figures from the WEEE Settlement Centre (subject to quality assurance checking by the environment agencies)