WEEE comply with what? PART 3
What is the role of the compliance and take-back scheme?
These are companies providing a specific compliance service, having been approved by their national authority. The compliance service covers administrative proceedings, take-back and recycling services.
They generate the obligations of contracted Producers in terms of tonnages and quantities placed on a national market (new equipment placed on market on a calendar year) and based on these quantities, carry out the obligation as regards take-back and recycling results vis-à-vis the national authority:
- Their take-back obligations refer to tonnages of waste to be collected in-country from end-users, consumers, local authorities, retailers, etc. It is usually a % of the total weight of new equipment placed on the market during the calendar year.
- Their recycling obligations refer to the required ratios to be attained and demonstrated regarding depollution of hazardous substances as well as recycling of materials included within the old equipment they collect from end-users, consumers, local authorities, retailers…
Examples of WEEE recycling and recovery targets (targets until August 14th 2018):
- Televisions: a minimum of 70% to be reused and/or recycled, 80% to be recovered
- Tablets: a minimum of 70% to be reused and/or recycled, 80% to be recovered
- Video cameras: a minimum of 70% to be reused and/or recycled, 80% to be recovered
- Smartphones: a minimum of 70% to be reused and/or recycled, 80% to be recovered
- Audio receivers: a minimum of 70% to be reused and/or recycled, 80% to be recovered
- Vacuum cleaners: a minimum of 55% to be reused and/or recycled, 75% to be recovered
- A coffee machine:
- Fridges: a minimum of 75% to be reused and/or recycled, 85% to be recovered
- Air conditioning: minimum of 75% shall be reused and/or recycled, 85% for recovered
- Drones: a minimum of 55% to be reused and/or recycled, 75% to be recovered
Source: Directive 2012/12/EU Annex V
Compliance and take-back schemes organize and manage compliance in a specific country for their Producer clients against a service price that can be based on:
- Registration costs
- Administrative and internal cost
- €/ton or per units placed on the national market (WEEE: equipment and devices / Batteries: batteries, cells or accumulators / Packaging: type of packaging i.e., different type of plastic, paper, metals)
The compliance and take-back scheme makes annual declarations on behalf of its clients for all tonnages and quantities placed on the market by their clients and then generates their obligations in terms of take-back and recycling.
The compliance and take-back schemes organize and manage take back and recycling and/or purchase certification of treatment from the treatment and recycling operators locally.
Audits and controls are run by the compliance and take back schemes.
At the end of the year, the compliance and take-back scheme reports on their performance to both the national authorities and their clients. Some organize specific take-back programmes towards end-users (households or businesses) for their Producers willing to go beyond their legal obligations. However, when companies have obligations in several countries, their compliance can become costly, time consuming and hard to harmonize.
Compliance and take back schemes provide an added value to producers in terms of local administrative simplification, local expertise and local take-back and recycling services for the benefit of both producers and their clients.
Finally, it should be noted that compliance and take back schemes are usually just focussed on one of the waste streams. Centralized local compliance hubs covering all streams do not exist in many EU countries.