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Defra Consults On WEEE Producer Balancing System Options

Competing proposals have been put forward by the WEEE Schemes Forum and another organisation, WEEE Allocation Scheme Ltd, for a mandatory waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) producer compliance scheme balancing system (PBS).

Clarity Environmental was one of the first compliance schemes to be involved in the Producer Balancing System, which was created in 2016 to assist in councils clearing WEEE from their sites while ensuring collection costs and evidence are distributed evenly across the 23 compliance schemes included.

The scheme has been running successfully for the past 3 years, being centrally managed and offering a greater level of certainty to local authorities. Many local authorities have put forward positive feedback for the system, which has also provided access to producer compliance schemes that they may not have worked with in the past.

Until now the PBS has been voluntary and some schemes had opted to not take part,  but legal changes made this year means it is now a condition of scheme approval to be a part of a mandatory PBS.

WEEE compliance scheme manager, Vikkie Fitzgerald, commented; “We’re pleased to see Defra making the WEEE PBS mandatory for producer compliance schemes after three years of success. We have seen the voluntary scheme allow a fair approach to the collection of WEEE, with producer compliance schemes sharing the load, whilst councils are assured they have access to free collection of materials which is entirely in the spirit of the WEEE Regulations.”

Defra will now hold a consultation between the two mandatory PBS proposed by WEEE Schemes Forum and WEEE Allocation Scheme Ltd.

The WEEE Schemes Forum’s proposal would largely replicate the voluntary PBS format that has previously been overseen by the consultancy firm Anthesis. It has included some enhancements based on the knowledge afforded it by the smooth running of the past three years.

The main difference in the alternative proposal, put forward by WEEE Allocation Scheme Ltd, addresses the current system’s non-disclosure of winning regulation 34 bids, arguing that this leads to budget issues of the groups shared costs. The proposal seeks to disclose the winning bids for council collections to make the costs involved clear, without the winner being disclosed.

Clarity is pleased to be supporting the PBS proposed by the WEEE Schemes Forum, based largely on the “tried and tested” methodology we have been successfully following since 2016. We believe the anonymous bidding system, alongside the proposed enhancements to the scheme, such as an online bidding platform to ease user’s participation, will be the most effective way of maintaining the current level of service provided to councils, and equality for the members of the PBS.

We look forward to seeing the results of the consultation, which will close on 15 April with an approved PBS and PBS operator expected to be announced by 1 August 2019.

If you would like to get involved in the consultation, give your views by 15 April 2019 on the consultation web page.

 Clarity’s WEEE compliance scheme provides its members with low cost and simple compliance, alongside unrivalled member support. If you would like to discuss compliance with the WEEE regulations, get in touch with a member of our team at or on 0845 129 7177.

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