Waste rules still unclear

16 October 2005
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17 October 2005 | Rebecca Ellinor at the CIPS Premier Conference in London

The new business-to-business rules surrounding the recycling and disposal of electrical waste remain unclear.

The new business-to-business rules surrounding the recycling and disposal of electrical waste remain unclear.

That was the conclusion of a seminar conducted by Jeff Cooper, producer responsibility policy manager at the Environment Agency.

Part of the debate 'Who owns the risk?' explored the European Union's Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive, which will make manufacturers, sellers of branded products, importers (incuding purchasers) and exporters of electronics responsible for recycling.

Buyers quizzed Cooper to ascertain at what point in the chain they will become responsible for recycling the items, but many were unsatisfied with the responses they received.

Laura Sutherland, procurement consultant for HBOS, told SM that while the debate was challenging, the question of who owns the risk was unanswered. "From a buyer's perspective there was no real practical advice, bearing in mind these guys are setting the directive or enforcing compliance to them," she said.

The EU's initial deadline for implementing the rule was August 2004, but as reported in SM (News, 25 August), the UK does not plan to bring it into force until June 2006.

He said new guidance would be published by the DTI and Environment Agency shortly. A DTI spokeswoman said: "We would rather that than risk doing something that is unworkable."

SMoct2005

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