How to prepare for the environmental legislation coming into force in July
The WEEE directive, which stands for waste of electrical and electronic equipment and deals with how electrical appliances are disposed of at the end of their lives, will come into force on July 1 and requires caterers to comply with the new regulations.
The goal of the directive is to reduce the amount of electrical waste going into landfill. Many EU member states have already enforced the directive. The rules vary depending on the date appliances were bought. If a caterer bought a piece of equipment after August 13 2005, the producer of the equipment (either the manufacturer or the importer into the UK) will be responsible for the collection and disposal of the equipment. However, if the caterer bought the equipment before August 13, they will have to pay for the disposal, unless a replacement appliance is being bought, in which case, the producer of the new equipment will have to pay for the collection and disposal of the old equipment.
The new regulations do allow the appliance producer or caterer to opt out of paying, providing they joined the government's compliance scheme by the end of January.
At present, the costs of disposal are still undecided but are expected to be between £100 and £200 per appliance. Actual prices should be announced by the end of February.
John Lougher, Managing Director of Caravell, commercial refrigeration wholesaler, said, "The prices have to be set bearing in mind that appliance disposals might not take place for five to ten years."
Lougher has the following tips for caterers:
- Have a look and see what electrical appliances you have which are nearing the end of their lives, before the policy comes into force.
- When buying new equipment, make sure you know who the producer of the equipment is and, in the future, to which compliance scheme the producer belongs.
- Check that any equipment bought since December 2005 has the wheelie bin symbol displayed on it, which shows that it's covered by the WEEE directive.
- Just go and dump your appliances. The government will clamp down on anyone who illegally disposes of their equipment.
- Forget to factor in the costs of likely disposals into your budget.
- Buy a product from a non-established company which might not be around when you need it to fulfil its disposal responsibilities. Make sure it's here to stay.