Getting the UK behind WEEE recycling

Leading recycler and social welfare charity Recycling Lives is helping to fund an innovative advertising campaign this winter, which will encourage UK householders to get on board with waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) recycling.

With increasingly tough targets being put in place by the European Union, Britain is under pressure to raise its recycling rates in line with three-yearly targets. Last year, the country achieved a 38% WEEE recycling rate, a figure that needs to be increased by 7% by 2014, to 45%, if we are to stay on track.

This winter’s advertising campaign – the brainchild of Weee Connect, an alliance of WEEE compliance schemes and recycling companies – is being funded by the alliance’s members. The consortium of companies behind the campaign was formed a year ago to address what was perceived as a lack of awareness of WEEE recycling in the absence of any government promotional campaign.

 Just twelve months later, the campaign has attracted the support of almost 50 organisations, including Recycling Lives and its compliance scheme, Advantage Waste Brokers. The award-winning recycler, which has its own social welfare charity, was keen to get on board with the campaign and has pledged its support to the advertisement, which will be run across a number of television channels over the Christmas period. The campaign has already surpassed its original target of £32,000 and is on course to reach a television audience of over 10 million people during the festive period. WRAP – the Waste and Resources Action Programme – will be helping councils to promote their own WEEE recycling services in line with the screening.

Recycling Lives has championed the cause of WEEE recycling for many years. A leading recycler with over 40 years in the industry, the company works hard to maximise its WEEE recycling capacity and works with the public and local authorities to raise awareness of recycling.

The company recently launched the first flat panel display unit processing centre in the country and is now able to recycle over  1,000 units each day at its specialist facility, which includes a mercury isolation cabin and sophisticated mercury analysing equipment.  In addition, the company’s charity, Recycling Lives UK, has launched a number of household waste recycling schemes. Bulky Waste and Furniture Donation Network are two such charity-led schemes, known as ‘Community Dotcoms’, that work with other UK charities to offer householders across the country the chance to dispose of their unwanted household appliances and furniture in an environmentally friendly way by booking a collection online. Items are removed from customers’ homes and reused or recycled, reducing the amount of waste that is sent to landfill and helping to raise recycling targets.

Dave Allen, Recycling Lives’ strategic development manager, commented:

“We’re pleased to have been given the opportunity to support the WEEE Connect campaign. Raising awareness of WEEE recycling is hugely important and the fact that leaders in the recycling and compliance sectors have come together to fund this advert really proves that.

“Recycling Lives works hard to improve its recycling methods and processing capacity and we need to make the UK public aware of the vast range of facilities available to them. Our recycling centres and charity-led collection, reuse and recycling schemes offer householders the chance to dispose of their WEEE in an eco-friendly way and we’re confident that the WEEE Connect advert this Christmas will have a big impact on recycling rates in the new year.”