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LONDON The U.K.'s Department of Trade and Industry has devised a timetable for implementing the WEEE directive in a consultation document. The government's implementation team aims to enforce regulations that reduce waste from electronics, said Malcolm Wicks, energy minister. He added that electronic equipment contributes the fastest-growing waste category in the U.K and therefore ought to be addressed meaningfully.
Recycling responsibility will primarily fall to producers creating electronic products manufacturers and importers. Proposed WEEE initiatives include a nationalized distributor take-back scheme that will network collection facilities, obligatory registration into compliance standards, and voluntary programs for discussing the cost of handling e-scrap and e-waste. Treatment facilities will process waste and document statistical information on waste, scrap, and reusable amounts of electronics.
The Environment Agency, who shares the roadmap, interprets the policy as a plan that will make more materials available for recycling through production and treatment methods, according to representative Liz Parkes. A product life-plan must include a focus on recycling at end-of-life, rather than simply dumping.
Proposals released by the Department of Trade and Industry follow a review held in December 2005 and previous consultations with industry members. The agency maintains that this phase in the implementation process represents comprehensive input from manufacturers, recycling agencies, government, and importers. The consultation phase will last until October 17, 2006.