Members of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive Compliance Scheme say they are being unfairly charged for handling waste electricals.

Electricals recycling charges spark retailer row

Members of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive Compliance Scheme say they are being unfairly charged for handling waste electricals.

Electricals recycling charges spark retailer row

“A shop can’t take a used toaster to its local recycling centre without having to pay for the privilege, even if it has paid to upgrade the centre to handle WEEE through its membership of the WEEE Compliance Scheme.” said Rebecca Abbott, who has co-ordinated retailer submissions to the recent government consultation for BHF Group.

Abbott, who is information manager for the retail trade association continued: “While membership of the scheme enables retailers to direct consumers to their local authority centre rather than taking back electrical items in-store, the naturally generous among them also often take an item back just to be helpful to their customers.

“That’s when their problems start because, as paying members or not, the WEEE item then becomes trade waste and the shop gets charged for returning it for recycling.”

BHF Group also says the government should do more to promote the fact that the right to return used electricals actually exists.

“Many people are probably not even aware that they have this right because the government has spent little or nothing on telling them, even if you include recent activities,” said Abbott, “which, if the shops don’t think it likely that there will be much WEEE coming in through the door, will make it an uphill struggle to get retailers to contribute to funding the next round of the compliance scheme.”

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