Harmonised standards in WEEE treatment & recycling
Ten years ago, each producer responsibility organisations and each country had its own set of targets it expected treatment plants and recyclers to meet. WEEELABEX, co-financed by the LIFE programme, produced a set of harmonised standards regarding collection, transport and recycling of e-waste and created the WEEELABEX Organisation, a Prague-based outfit that trains auditors, and issued WEEELABEX certificates. WEEELABEX stands for WEEE LABoratory of EXcellence.
In 2008 the WEEE Forum's ‘WEEELABEX’ project proposal was approved. The WEEELABEX stated ambition was to protect the environment by improving WEEE collection and recycling practices in Europe, by laying down a set of standards on collection, handling, storage and recycling of WEEE. Additionally, it provided adequate procedures for monitoring the WEEE treatment companies through audits conducted by auditors trained by the WEEELABEX Office. All WEEELABEX auditors used the same audit process documents, applied the same set of standards and reported their findings to the WEEELABEX Office, which listed the processes that had successfully undergone conformity verification.
Following the success of the project, the WEEELABEX organisation was set up in Prague in April 2013 and remains to this day a successful accredited body for the certification of auditors and treatment plants. Two months later, the Standards Qualification Panel of EPEAT, a green products rating system, qualified the WEEELABEX standards, making it easier for manufacturers to market greener products.