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WEEE Collections

A Biffa initiative to help local authorities deal with the problem of small domestic waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is expanding, thanks to its simplicity and resident appeal.

Collecting WEEE On The Doorstep

Dealing effectively with the difficult waste stream of domestic WEEE is a challenge for local authorities. Many address it by encouraging residents to drop off WEEE at Household Waste Recycling Centres and similar facilities.

Now, a new initiative by Biffa is attracting increasing council interest as it enables them to capture meaningful volumes of WEEE on householders’ doorsteps. This makes it very easy for residents to recycle small WEEE ranging from kettles, radios and MP3 players to hair driers, sandwich grillers and toasters, as well as batteries.

With Biffa’s help, three local authorities - Woking, Swale and Surrey Heath Borough Councils - secured financial support from the retailer-backed Distributor TakeBack Scheme Local Project Fund to launch small WEEE collection services in their respective areas.

These operate seamlessly with Biffa’s refuse and recycling collections: residents simply leave their small WEEE in carrier bags out alongside their recycling bins and boxes.

Biffa’s crews then collect these bags during their normal rounds, and place them in special cages mounted underneath Biffa’s collection vehicles.

Bulk loads of WEEE are then transferred to specialist processors, such as MDJ Light Brothers in East Sussex, for disassembly and recycling.

Many Tonnes Recycled

In just a few weeks after its service launch at the end of 2011, Woking Borough Council had recycled around 10 tonnes of small WEEE and hundreds of kilos of used batteries. These would otherwise have been sent for disposal by landfill or incineration.

This performance has been echoed by Stafford Borough Council where its Biffa-operated WEEE service has been collecting WEEE at the rate of about a tonne a week.