Recycling Product News Logo

WEEE Forum calls for action on differentiating e-waste from metal scrap

WEEE Forum logo

The WEEE Forum has today published a paper outlining the issues associated with the treatment of WEEE as metal scrap and has called on the competent authorities to take appropriate action. The paper discusses how treating WEEE as metal scrap is problematic and encourages those responsible to penalize facilities that do so.

The practice of collecting or purchasing WEEE and handling it together with metal scrap is, unfortunately, a common practice in Europe and globally. This situation gives rise to environmental, health and safety issues because hazardous substances may likely not have been adequately removed or extracted. It also gives rise to compliance issues because WEEE collected and treated as metal scrap escapes the official routes that count towards reaching the collection targets set in WEEE legislation; attaining these targets has become very hard.

The attainment of the collection targets requires a redirection of WEEE tonnages into the officially reported flows. Competent authorities must prohibit the practice of purchasing and processing metal scrap that contains WEEE, unless they are treated and processed by facilities that are officially permitted or certified to do so. They must develop targeted, systematic enforcement actions to identify facilities that treat WEEE as scrap and penalize them. A lot of the issues result from failure of the operator permitting system; policies which mandate the scrap sector in the reporting of WEEE are called for.

Lucia Herreras, Deputy Director General of the WEEE Forum and one of the authors of the report said, "Due to low levels of enforcement activity, and PROs not having access to scrap facilities for data collection, reliable information on the WEEE tonnages affected by these practices is scarce. Finding an appropriate, harmonized methodology to collect data about how much WEEE disappears in the metal scrap stream is crucial to understand what is going on in the e-waste market."

Member States can use substantiated estimates, as referred to in Article 16 of the Directive, provided WEEE not properly treated stays out of the equation, otherwise it creates an unlevel playing field for the other Member States in achieving the collection targets in Europe.

The issues associated with WEEE in metal scrap will be discussed with representatives of the United Nations, author of a WEEE Flows report, the European Commission and the stakeholders community at a WEEE Forum event on 24 November 2020, in Brussels and online. Registration to the event will open soon.

More from Electronics Recycling

Sponsored Brought to you by: Machinex Logo

Discover the main features of a reliable & efficient baler

Single-Ram and II-Ram High-Capacity Balers

At Machinex, we've been designing sorting systems for over 35 years, so we know how essential it is for MRF operators to have a baler they can trust and not worry about its operational reliability. This is why we design and manufacture reliable single-ram and II-ram high-capacity balers to specifically help optimize their operations.

 Watch the video of our expert who presents the main features of Machinex balers delivering these important benefits:

  • Easy & accessible maintenance
  • Reduced maintenance & bale handling costs
  • Energy savings
  • Optimal bale density
Learn more
Sponsored Brought to you by: Komptech Americas LLC. Logo

How to streamline C&D waste processing to increase profitability

For C&D recyclers, waste haulers, demolition contractors and landfills, there is a growing opportunity to profit from rethinking processes. Although every operation is different, by streamlining the front end of the C&D operation processes with purpose-built technologies, recyclers can tap into new end markets, accommodate higher material volumes, stay ahead of regulatory restrictions, increase recovery rates and add commodity revenue, while decreasing labor and other costs.

Download the new eBook to learn about:

  • Finding opportunities in the alternative to landfilling C&D
  • How facilities can increase their profits from C&D
  • Using the right C&D processing technology in the right locations
Learn more

Get our newsletter

Get our newsletter