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Issue 34
, 2012
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European leaders finalize WEEE revisions

Jake Thomas
Source: Resource Recycling, Date: , 2012

After nearly of year of negotiations, the European Union now has a new directive governing the management of waste electrical and electronic equipment.

Nearly a year ago, the European Parliament voted to recast the EU's WEEE Directive with the aim of updating the original 2003 measure, which set a collection target at four kilograms per person, to better address the growth in WEEE generation in EU member states.

The new directive initially set an 85 percent collection target of WEEE produced in EU member states. However, the ambitious target was later whittled down during negotiations.

During the last week of December, the European Council and the European Parliament reached a deal on the new directive after overcoming disagreements over collection targets. EU member states will have to collect 85 percent of their WEEE annually by 2019 under the new directive, reports European Voice. A translated statement by Karl-Heinz Florenz, a German member of the EU Parliament who played a large role in crafting the legislation, notes that a smaller collection target of 45 percent will go into effect in 2016 under the new directive and that exceptions will be made for newer EU states.

The statement praised the new directive, saying that it would help recover valuable materials while also preventing WEEE from being exported or being dumped in landfills.