This Summer edition of Eye on WEEE draws your attention to the international WEEE Forum conference taking place on 20-21 September 2012 in London: Registration is open!
You will also find information about other events (see III, V, VI and VII). In May, for example, stakeholders explained how the project, co-financed by the LIFE programme, affects their business and how it is taking WEEE management issues to the next level.
And finally, last April in Vienna, the General Assembly elected a new Board and Chairman of the Board (see II).
On behalf of the WEEE Forum, I wish you a relaxing summer break.
I. Welcome to the 4th WEEE Forum conference in London
Repic, the UK’s largest waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) producer compliance scheme and a member of the WEEE Forum, will host the WEEE Forum Conference in London (Guoman Tower Hotel) on 20-21 September 2012.
This prestigious conference is held only once every two years; previous hosts have been Zurich, Vienna and Dublin, with discussions taking place on the latest developments and opportunities in the area of WEEE management.
This year’s conference will focus on the social implications of 'WEEE II', which national governments across the EU will soon begin to transpose into national law.
The theme of the conference will highlight the relationship between the recast Directive and the three other EEEs: environment, economy and employment. It will focus on the positive impact that the effective transposition of the Directive will have on these particular areas, and how each of the three EEEs can be sustainably developed in the WEEE arena.
The speakers include Lord Taylor of Holbeach, Parliamentary Under Secretary of the UK Government Department responsible for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Gunter Pauli, founder of Zero Emissions Research & Initiatives (ZERI) and S. P. Kim, chief executive and President of Samsung Europe (TBC).
Illegal WEEE shipments, critical rare earths and the future of producer responsibility are also topics that will be covered during the two-day event. Attendees will be able to learn more about the new requirements likely to be introduced by 'WEEE II' and how it will differ from the current regime.
For registration, speakers and programme, see www.weeeforumconference.org Anyone can attend Day Two; Day One is upon invitation only.
Info: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
II. The General Assembly elects a new Board.
At its meeting on 27 April 2012, the General Assembly of the WEEE Forum elected a new Board and Chairman of the Board. José Ramón Carbajosa, managing director of Ecolec, a WEEE producer compliance scheme in Spain, was elected Chairman for a four years’ mandate. Carbajosa: “The previous Board, under the leadership of Andreas Röthlisberger, successfully steered WEEELABEX, our flagship project, through sometimes stormy weather. This year, the WEEELABEX project is coming to fruition. A new organisation is being set up which will essentially be a pan-European audit and training scheme. In the coming years, the WEEE Forum seek to understand what legal framework, strategies and tools have to be put in place to allow producer responsibility organisations to meet the new requirements of WEEE II".
Six other candidates were elected to the Board: Jan Vlak (Wecycle), Christian Brabant (Eco-systèmes), Giorgio Arienti (Ecodom), Roman Tvrzník (Elektrowin), Phil Morton (Repic) and Jan Vrba (Asekol SK).
The newly elected Board appointed Jan Vlak Vice Chairman and Christian Brabant Treasurer.
III. Beating the WEEELABEX drum
The WEEELABEX Testimonials event in Brussels on 21 May 2012, in the context of LIFE's 20th anniversary, allowed the five main stakeholders in the project, i.e. producers, producer responsibility organisations, authorities, processors and NGOs, to report how WEEELABEX is affecting their business and to highlight their expectations. It also provided us, as WEEE Forum, the opportunity to communicate about the key deliverables and the 'life after LIFE' ambitions. A pilot attestation was handed out to GreenWEEE SA, the first processing company to undergo a pilot WEEELABEX trial audit. Both Jan Vlak, Vice Chairman of the Board, and José Ramón Carbajosa, Chairman, underlined the fact that the challenge of WEEE cannot be addressed unilaterally or by one sole party, but that, on the contrary, it requires a sustained, collaborative, multi-stakeholder approach.
The mood was exceptionally constructive. We can say with confidence that we managed to flag WEEELABEX as a meaningful milestone in our efforts to take on the challenge of electronic waste.
You will find the .ppt of all speakers uploaded onto the news centre of the public website: http://www.weee-forum.org/news/weeelabex-testimonials-event-presentations-are-now-available
We express a sincere thank you to the stakeholders and the speakers for their contributions.
The next edition of Eye on WEEE will feature more news about WEEELABEX.
IV. New EN standard on recycling of cooling equipment
After several years of discussions within CENELEC, a European standards body, a final EN standard on recycling of refrigeration equipment containing VHC and VFC has been formally adopted.
V. XII Economic Forum at Krynica
On 5 September 2012, the WEEE Forum will be co-ordinating a panel at the XII Economic Forum at Krynica in south-east Poland. The conference, allegedly the ‘alter-ego’ of the yearly Davos summit, brings together high-level decision-makers and influencers to discuss a diverse range of issues of topical interest. The panel is composed of Stanisław Gawlowski, Secretary of State at the Polish Ministry of the Environment, Wojciech Konecki, General Director at CECED Polska and a delegation representing the WEEE Forum community: Roman Tvrzník (Elektrowin), Grzegorz Skrzypczak (ElektroEko), Zoltan Toth (ElectroCoord) and Pascal Leroy (WEEE Forum).
VI. WEEE Forum at Flanders roundtable on closing the loop
On 6 June 2012, Peter Sabbe, Managing Director of Recupel, the main compliance scheme in Belgium, and Pascal Leroy, Secretary General of the WEEE Forum, took part in a roundtable organised by OVAM, the Flemish waste agency, and under the aegis of Kris Peeters, the Prime Minister of Flanders. This year’s topic was: How can authorities, processors, producers, compliance schemes and citizens collectively contribute to closing the materials loop. Too many critical raw materials and rare earths are not properly recovered, jeopardising European businesses’ competitiveness and posing serious security concerns.
Peter Sabbe: “Recupel is looking into ways to incite WEEE processors to recover critical materials, such as palladium, gold, silver and copper from printed circuit boards”. Pascal Leroy explained that the WEEELABEX standards on collection, handling, transporting, storing and processing of WEEE, laid down last year, contribute to better de-pollution of hazardous WEEE; a next step could be to extend the standards with requirements concerning recovery of certain critical raw materials.
See also www.ovam.be
VII. RFID and WEEE management
In June 2009, the European Commission adopted a Communication on the "Internet of Things – An Action Plan for Europe” which laid down 14 lines of action to ensure Europe plays a leading role in influencing the evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT) and can enjoy the associated benefits of economic growth and individual well-being. One Action Line refers to waste management: RFID in recycling lines. The Commission invited research centres to study the role of RFID in waste management and to analyse the benefits RFID can offer to the end-of-life phase.
At a conference in Brussels on 11 July 2012, key findings of the study, real use cases and underlying issues were discussed among participants. Enrique Redondo, Project Director at Ecolec of 'WEEE TRACE', a project that aims at ensuring full traceability of WEEE management using RFID, said: "We have moved beyond the PowerPoint phase and have started to put the project into practice. Large WEEE items, such as washing machines and refrigerators, are being tagged in order to ensure full cradle-to-grave traceability of WEEE flows.".
See also www.weee-trace.eu