The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has published details of the two proposals submitted to draw up a compliance fee methodology for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) recycling in 2017. The fee is an alternative mechanism that compliance schemes and obligated business can use if they have insufficient recycling evidence to meet their WEEE collection targets for the year. Targets are usually met through acquiring evidence of recycling for material collected at civic amenity sites. A call for proposals was put forward in August – with proposals from the Joint Trade Associations (JTA) and producer compliance scheme Valpak having been returned. Defra has today (18 October) asked for views on each of the proposals. The chosen methodology for the fee will be announced early next year, which Defra claims will allow schemes sufficient time to pay it in line with the compliance deadline of March 2018. Both Valpak and the JTA have submitted proposals for dictating the WEEE fee in previous years, with Valpak’s proposal having been selected for use in 2016, and JTA methodologies having been used in 2014 and 2015. WEEE fee The compliance fee is intended to discourage PCSs from collecting volumes of WEEE significantly above their collection targets and then seeking to sell the surplus evidence to schemes seeking more evidence to meet their obligations. According to Defra, the methodology for calculating the fee should be established in a way that encourages compliance through collection and treatment of WEEE via the network of CA sites across the UK. Proposals In their proposals, both organisations have acknowledged that there is likely to be a shortfall in tonnages available to meet 2017 targets, meaning that it is likely that the compliance fee will be required to be used across several WEEE categories. Valpak’s proposal has been based upon its successful 2016 submission, which bases the level of the fee paid by compliance schemes on WEEE collection and treatment cost data. This would also be dictated by an escalator which sees schemes which are significantly below their target, and need to use the fee for a greater tonnage, pay a higher per-tonne figure than those which require only a low tonnage. JTA, which represents around 90% of the companies obligated under the WEEE producer obligations in the UK, has designed a fee methodology which it claims will encourage collections “directly from local authorities”. Similar to Valpak’s proposal, the fee to be paid is based on an escalator so the further away a scheme is from its target, the higher the fee it has to pay. The fee would also reflect the extent to which a scheme has been collecting directly from local authorities and whether it is a member of the PBS (PCS Balancing System) and whether nationally a particular stream of WEEE is in surplus or in deficit against the national target, JTA has claimed. Stakeholders have until 1 December to provide views on the two proposals.
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