Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (1522)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

1522. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the role he has in approving WEEE operations; the basis on which an organisation do not operate in certain areas (details supplied) for WEEE or portable battery recycling; and the way in which the recycling of such items is organised in these areas. [36096/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

Under the terms of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and Batteries and Accumulators Directives, financing the recycling of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and portable batteries is solely a producer responsibility. Two collective compliance schemes, acting on behalf of producers of EEE and batteries, are operating in Ireland. These compliance schemes, WEEE Ireland and European Recycling Platform Ireland, are responsible for the recycling of all household WEEE and batteries deposited at designated collection points. These compliance schemes are also responsible for ensuring that recovered WEEE and batteries are recycled in an environmentally sound manner and for putting in place tracking and auditing systems for materials recovery in line with the requirements of the Directives. Compliance schemes operate under a Ministerial approval in accordance with Part 5 of both the European Union (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Regulations 2014 and the European Union (Batteries and Accumulators) Regulations 2014. This approval sets out the terms and conditions under which compliance schemes are approved to act as both a WEEE and Batteries compliance scheme in accordance with an application to my Department. The purpose of this approval is to ensure clear service ownership, accountability and responsibilities with a view to ensuring that compliance schemes are discharging their statutory functions in an efficient and effective manner.

The market share of each compliance scheme’s producer members impacts its designated geographic collection area in Ireland. The designation is based on a voluntary accord between the two schemes and is determined on the basis of the average percentage of the member’s market share of EEE and batteries placed on the market.

European Recycling Platform Ireland currently collect in 8 functional areas - Fingal, Clare, Kerry, Limerick, Cavan, Monaghan, Louth and Meath with WEEE Ireland, the larger of the two schemes, providing a collection service in all other local authority areas. It should be noted that designated geographic areas are periodically re-organised in accordance with market share changes. The fact that compliance schemes operate on a “not for profit” basis allows for such co-operation and ensures that a nationwide WEEE and batteries collection service is provided to the public in the most efficient manner possible.