Q3 2021 WEEE collections indicate more work is needed

The data reveals that between July to September 125,866 tonnes of waste electricals were collected – 1,950 tonnes less than Q2 collections.

With the annual target set at 503,629 tonnes, the overall UK collection rate is tracking at 74%, just below where we would hope to see it three quarters through the year. Although there are promising signs of Display equipment and Cooling appliance targets being achieved, overall the latest data suggests we could miss the annual targets for the fifth year in a row.

Q3 2021 WEEE recycling results

In terms of Small Mixed WEEE (SMW, categories 2 to 10), the UK appears to have bounced back from the impacts seen during 2020 when Household Waste & Recycling Centres were forced to close for a period. This time last year only 79,181 tonnes of SMW had been collected, compared to 94,669 tonnes in 2021. However, the SMW category appears to be an area which, despite the collective push from across the industry, is again falling short of the targets.

Taking this into account, it highlights that the UK needs to work towards more widespread collection networks providing better, more efficient options that enable and encourage consumers to recycle their waste electronics. 

Consumer demand has not waivered

Meanwhile, the EEE placed on market data for Q3 shows a steady trend of electricals entering the market. Compared to Q2, the data highlights some obvious reductions in line with seasonality, for example reduced demand for gardening equipment and power tools. Similarly, the data shows an increase in automatic dispensers, which could be linked to products designed to help consumers navigate the new world of COVID.

When reviewing the data against 2020 for the same period, EEE placed on the UK market has increased by 126,094 tonnes. This clearly demonstrates that consumer demand for new electronics has not waivered.

Overall, the poor performance of SMW collections highlights the need for more accessible options for disposal routes. Moving into 2022 we expect there will be an increased focus to set up more retailer take back, specifically online retailers. This will be in addition to opportunities to increase initiatives with local authorities, including kerbside collections. Look out for these themes in the upcoming WEEE consultation next year.

We can help you set up in-store WEEE collections

Our WEEE collections service can help you establish and operate an in-store take-back service with whole UK coverage for your customers, enabling you to collect WEEE with the minimum of fuss. Please contact our team for more information.

Written by Jonathan Stewart Published 14/12/2021 Topics WEEE
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