Ireland is once again leading the way
February 22, 2016
Ireland is once again leading the way in electrical recycling standards in Europe.
Industry calls on European Commission to make standards on WEEE recycling legally binding
Ireland one of only 3 EU countries implementing WEEE standards since 2014
WEEE Ireland proud to work with indigenous recycling facilities certified to the WEEELABEX standard in Tullamore, Duleek and Athy
WEEE Ireland today welcomed the recent electrical industry positon paper which calls on the European Commission to take appropriate measures to make compliance with the EN 50625 Series mandatory and make standards on WEEE recycling legally binding across Europe. Currently in Europe more than half of all WEEE generated in the EU is not treated in accordance with requirements of Directive 2012/19/EU which results in a lower quality of WEEE within Europe.
Ireland is however leading the charge within Europe in the field of quality electrical recycling as one of only 3 countries in Europe with mandatory WEEE recycling standards in place since 2014. WEEE Ireland, the Irish compliance scheme for recycling household waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and waste batteries is the Irish member for the WEEE Forum – a European grouping of producer Compliance Schemes. The WEEE Forum and its affiliated Schemes were instrumental in developing the WEEELABEX standard – the precursor to the EN WEEE Standard. Many of the Schemes’ members are recognisable brand name OEMs part of DIGITAL Europe and CECED European Trade Associations who are todaycalling on the EC to make these environmental standards mandatory.
Speaking about the imporatance of this paper, WEEE Ireland CEO Leo Donovan said, “The significance of recycling standards has never been more important against the back drop of the proposed Circular Economy package currently being debated across the EU. If we want to become more resource efficient and sustainable from both an environmental and financial perspective we must have authorised recycling and recovery facilities all operating to high quality standards. There is no room for cowboy management of WEEE as we move from a linear waste disposal era toward a more circular resource efficient future. The Irish waste landscape has changed completely in the 10 years WEEE Ireland has been in existence and we are among the leaders in Europe in collection and recycling environmental target achievements. However we need to have both a level playing field and cost effective solutions for Producers to compete across Europe. WEEE Ireland will continue to support the electrical sector as they work towards their objective of mandatory EN WEEE recycling standards as evidenced in this position paper.”
WEEE Ireland are proud to take a stance in Europe by using WEEELABEX certified facilites in Ireland including – Irish Lamp Recycling in Athy, KMK Metal Recycling in Tullamore and the Recycling Village in Duleek. The WEEELABEX and EN standards ensure proper removal of hazardous materials in old and broken appliances and high level recovery of the other useful fractions they contain. This has improved the quality and therefore the value of recycling fractions for sale into the European manufacturing market from Ireland. The recycling standard has allowed indigenous Irish recycling industries to invest in their facilities and sets them apart from non-certified operators, increasing the employment potential in this growing green economy.
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The 2012 recast WEEE Directive (2012/19/EU) encouraged Member States to introduce standards for harmonising and improving the quality of WEEE recycling and treatment across Europe. To date Ireland and the Netherlands have introduced mandatory requirements for treatment of separately collected waste electrical equipment to WEEELABEX or other EN standard. The established of the WEEELABEX standard has paved the way for the development of EN 50625 which will replace WEEELABEX as the industry-recycling standard in coming years. Other EN standards in relation to collection and preparation for reuse of WEEE material are also in development. CENELEC (www.cenelec.eu) is the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization and is responsible for standardisation in the electrotechnical engineering field.
ABOUT WEEE FORUM
The WEEE Forum is a non-profit association speaking for 32 electrical and electronic equipment waste (WEEE) producer compliance schemes. It was set up in the early 2000s. The 39 members are based in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Germany, Greece, France, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. It is the biggest organisation of its kind in the world. In 2012, its member organisations reported collection and proper de-pollution and recycling of about 2 million tonnes of WEEE. On April 17th 2013, twenty-six compliance schemes from the WEEE Forum plus ERP and Budget Pack Environmental set up the WEEELABEX Organisation in Prague (Czech Republic) to train auditors that are familiar with WEEE processing technologies and have auditing skills, in order to allow them to conduct audits in accordance with the WEEELABEX standards. In addition, the Organisation will monitor the implementation of the standards, provide guidance to operators on how to perform internal conformity assessment, contribute to a definition of (emission or concentration) limit values and select WEEELABEX auditors on the basis of defined eligibility criteria. Learn more at www.weee-forum.org and www.weeelabex.org or contact Pascal Leroy, Secretary General of the WEEE Forum – firstname.lastname@example.org