Supermarkets may be forced to set up waste collection sites in car parks if local authorities don’t sign up to the British Retail Consortium’s Retail Compliance Scheme (RCS) on electrical goods disposal.
The introduction of the European Union’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive has been repeatedly delayed and is now expected to come into force early next year.
Under the directive, retailers will have to tell customers that they will take back old electrical equipment and will be responsible for sending waste to a WEEE recycling plant. However, if they sign up to RCS and pay a one-off fee, they can direct customers to local collection sites. The current proposal is to set up collection zones in existing local authority rubbish tips.
James Skidmore, business development manager at Valpac, which is running RCS for the BRC, said: “If we can get into local authority sites, there will be a one-off fee of £8.2m, split between retailers according to market share.”
Supply chain company Wincanton said delays had caused frustration. It recently opened the UK’s first all-encompassing WEEE recycling plant in Billingham, near Middlesbrough.