Best wishes for 2013!
First of all, on behalf of the Board and the members of the WEEE Forum, I wish you good health and a successful New Year.
A recent study commissioned by Ecodom, a producer compliance scheme in Italy, came to the conclusion that the Italian ‘WEEE System’ will fail to meet the 2019 target of 85 per cent of annual WEEE generated, unless it is embedded in sound legislation and unless a greater synergy between all parties involved in the WEEE management chain is secured (see item V). To allow stakeholders and policymakers understand the implications of these findings for WEEE policies across Europe, the WEEE Forum has scheduled a conference on 27 February 2013 in Brussels, in co-operation with ACR+ EPR Club, a grouping of organisations affected by Extended Producer Responsibility policies. We look forward to welcoming you.
Other news bits in this edition relate to the European Commission’s Raw Materials initiative in which the WEEE Forum will become involved, the imminent launch of the WEEELABEX Office in Prague, a training centre for WEEE auditors, and news from the membership.
I. European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials
The European Commission has invited the WEEE Forum to join the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials. Danilo Bonato, Secretary General at ReMedia, a compliance scheme in Italy, Pascal Leroy, Secretary General at the WEEE Forum, and Enrique Redondo, Project Director at Ecolec, a compliance scheme in Spain, will represent the WEEE Forum at the High Level Steering Group, the Sherpa Group and the Operational Group respectively. The EIP was set up by the Enterprise directorate of the European Commission to contribute to devising schemes that can secure sustainable supply of raw materials in Europe. The WEEE Forum will offer its know-how with respect to collection, sorting and recycling of WEEE, which is the focus of one of the work packages.
See also http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/raw-materials/index_en.htm
II. Set up of the WEEELABEX organisation
WEEELABEX, a WEEE Forum project co-financed by the LIFE programme of the European Commission, came to an end on 31 December 2012. In the past four years, we have, in collaboration with producers and processors, developed a set of standards with respect to collection, sorting, handling, transport, preparation for re-use, recycling, recovery and disposal of WEEE. We have also agreed on the architecture and governance of a new organisation, the ‘WEEELABEX organisation’. The secretariat of that organisation, the WEEELABEX Office, will become an accredited centre for training of auditors. Upon meeting eligibility criteria and successfully following a training course, individual auditors, for example on the payroll of certification companies, will be listed as ‘WEEELABEX auditors’, the sole experts recognised by the organisation to conduct audits of processes at treatment facilities. The WEEELABEX Office will also list processes as ‘WEEELABEX processes’ if the conformity verification was positive. Producer compliance schemes that are members of the WEEELABEX organisation will recognise processes that have successfully undergone conformity verification. They will not have the choice to re-do the same WEEELABEX audits.
The WEEELABEX Office is currently being set up in Prague and a General Manager and Assistant Manager are being recruited. It will go live in April this year. WEEELABEX conformity verification will start in earnest after Easter.
See www.weee-forum.org/weeelabexproject for all WEEELABEX deliverables. See https://www.weee-forum.org/system/files/various/weeelabex_conformity_verification_governance_v7.0_final_2012_09_20.pdf for a copy of the ‘Architecture and governance of WEEELABEX Conformity Verification’.
III. New members at the WEEE Forum
In the past couple of months, two producer compliance schemes have joined the WEEE Forum: EÅF (Sweden) and EES Ringlus (Estonia).
Existing members Eco-RAEE’s (Spain) and Ecofimática (Spain) have stepped out of the WEEE Forum.
The Hungarian government decided in 2012 to take management control of Electro-Coord, a situation which the statutes of the WEEE Forum disallow. Electro-Coord’s membership was terminated.
ICT Milieu (Netherlands) merged with Wecycle (Netherlands) on 1 January 2013.
This brings the total membership of the WEEE Forum to 39 producer compliance schemes. In 2011, they collected more than 1.900.000t of WEEE.
See https://www.weee-forum.org/community for an overview of the community of producer compliance schemes at the WEEE Forum.
IV. Upcoming seminar: How can we reach the new WEEE collection targets?
The WEEE Forum, a member of ACR+ EPR Club, a grouping of organisations affected by Extended Producer Responsibility policies, will be hosting, jointly with ACR+, an association of cities and regions for recycling and sustainable resource management, a conference on 27 February 2013 (12.30-18.00) in the Diamant conference centre in Brussels. The main theme is: How can we reach the new WEEE collection targets? Ecodom, a compliance scheme in Italy, will present a case study on WEEE generation: the ‘WEEE flows in Italy’ study. Recyclers, specialist retail and OCAD3E, the French clearing house, will provide their views on the role of WEEE registers and enforcement policies. More news will be available soon on https://www.weee-forum.org/events Please register with Katarzyna Koniecka-Giráldez at firstname.lastname@example.org before 15 February.
See also item V.
V. WEEE flows in Italy
Early 2012, Ecodom commissioned a team at Politécnico di Milano, a university, and Ipsos, a market research company, to undertake, under the guidance of the United Nations University, a study into the quantities of household WEEE generated in Italy annually. The study comes in the wake of a similar project carried out by the Dutch Wecycle consortium, which revealed that it will not be possible to achieve the new WEEE collection targets set by the new Directive unless the Member States accept responsibility for identifying and tracing all the WEEE which currently disappears in often illegal waste flows, causing a serious environmental threat as well as significant losses in financial terms.
With effect from 2019, every Member State will be required to collect and properly dispose of 85 per cent of the WEEE generated within its borders every year, and there is a risk that the Italian WEEE System will not be ready by that date (which is ‘the day after tomorrow’, metaphorically speaking), unless it is reinforced by sound legislation and greater synergies are created between all those involved in the WEEE management chain.
VI. ‘A green approach to business’ TV programme
Repic (United Kingdom) has been featured in a TV programme aimed at senior executives. The current series focuses on green business and a number of businesses with strong green credentials have been interviewed to understand their approach. It also contains interviews with Sims, a global recycler, Hoover Candy, a home appliance maker, and ICER, an association of companies dealing with the recycling or treatment of WEEE. The Executive Television programme ‘A Green Approach to Business: Sustainable Waste’ will be aired on Wednesday 23 January at 20.00 on SKY digital channel 212 and the BBC/ITV freesat 401.Repic have also used some of the footage in a podcast which describes Repic’s approach to responsible WEEE recycling. This will be available on the Repic website after the programme.
All programmes will be made available on both www.collaborativemedia.co.uk and www.executivetv.org after final broadcast.
VII. Take-Back conference on 16 April 2013
Asekol (Czech Republic) invites you to its 4th International Conference on Tuesday 16 April in Prague (10.00-18.00). Main topics are recycling of rare earth metals, companies purchasing secondary raw materials, re-use, and WEEELABEX. The conference program and details about speakers will be available together with an on-line registration form on www.asekol.com.
Info: Any inquiries should be addressed to Jitka Šimková (email@example.com , phone +420 234 235 273).
VIII. WEEELABEX in Wecycle contracts
Wecycle has signed new contracts with transport companies and recyclers. To further improve the quality of collection, transport and recycling of WEEE, the WEEELABEX standards played a crucial role in the market demands. Wecycle is the first WEEE Forum member to implement these standards in its contracts with sorting centres, transport companies and recyclers, effective from January this year. All parties have been audited.
Besides this, the transport companies commit themselves to decrease their CO2 emissions during the next contract period up to 20 per cent, for example by meeting the Euro6 standard for trucks, which becomes a European standard in September 2014.
IX. Get your discarded appliances out of the drawers!
How do we go about getting consumers’ appliances out of the cupboards and drawers and helping them to choose the new lease of life which they wish to give to their appliances, i.e. transforming these into new raw materials, donating, exchanging or repairing these? How can they experience first-hand the environmental and social benefits of their gesture? How can we create a momentum of communication and exchange of services between the consumers themselves? How can we participate in the development of behaviour towards waste prevention?
From these objective-based questions, Eco-systèmes developed a new digital service on its website www.eco-systemes.fr, widening the range of solutions for those who choose to dispose of their used appliances responsibly. Recycling, donating, exchanging or repairing are all excellent ways in giving your end-of-life electrical appliances a second breath of life.
Although the site is in French, we invite you to have a go at the www.eco-systemes.fr experience! We value your feedback.
Info: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
X. Get to know the LIFE Slovenia WEEE Campaign
The LIFE+ Slovenia WEEE Campaign aims to increase awareness of environmental issues related to the production and use of electrical and electronic equipment. The project is co-financed by the European Commission under LIFE and the Slovene Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment.
The project beneficiary ZEOS, a non-profit partnership for the management of WEEE in Slovenia, sent its special ‘E-transformer’ vehicle, the project’s central communicational tool, on a two-month promotional tour of some of the country’s main shopping centres and primary schools last summer. E-transformer is equipped with the latest multimedia and LED lighting, powered by a solar unit on the roof of the trailer. Its mission is to increase awareness, especially among families with younger children, of the proper handling, treatment and recovery of WEEE.
See project website: www.life.zeos.si
Beneficiary website: www.zeos.si