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WEEE recycling given a boost by UK's leading compliance scheme

by Valpak Limited | Mar 22, 2011
Valpak has been working with key organisations in the region to help tackle the problems of recycling Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE).

Following a major contract win with the North Eastern Purchasing Organisation (NEPO), the UK's leading provider of producer responsibility and recycling solutions, Valpak, is aiming to put the North East on the map as one of the top recycling areas for WEEE and batteries. In order to help achieve this, the company will be providing a free of charge service for the collection and reprocessing of WEEE and batteries for the Teesside and the Tyne and Wear regions.

Valpak has already been working with the NEPO in Teesside since 2007, when the WEEE Regulations came into force. During this period, they have funded a Waste Awareness Officer in the area to encourage a greater understanding of the benefits of recycling and to encourage wider participation.

Since work began, the organisation has collected and recycled over 3,500 tonnes per annum of electrical waste and batteries from the region. Over the next few years, the figures are set to increase to approximately 8,000 tonnes per annum with the inclusion of Tyne & Wear.

Nigel Tomlinson, Commercial Manager at Valpak, said:

"Winning the NEPO tender has given Valpak the opportunity to introduce an excellent level of service and value, already associated with our Teesside service, across the whole of the North East."

"We can help to identify the correct mix of financial and environmentally sustainable solutions by working with local authorities and businesses in the North East. We are then able to negotiate better deals, using the larger economies of scale, enabling us to offer more value for money alternatives and increasing the levels of awareness of WEEE and battery recycling on this regional level. We are confident that over the next few years we will encourage more recycling, help to create more jobs and divert more waste from landfill in the North East."

The organisation works with householders, reprocessors and council staff in the region to ensure that as much waste material as possible is recouped and diverted away from landfill. As part of this remit, Valpak has been working alongside the North East Improvement & Efficiency Partnership (NEIEP) and colleges in the North East to raise awareness of the fact that WEEE can be given a new life after it has become redundant.

Valpak sponsored a recent art and design competition, providing laptops as prizes for winning students. The project saw Middlesbrough and Hartlepool Colleges given a live client brief to produce visual and 3D artwork in a variety of mediums which are inspired by WEEE or incorporate WEEE components. The entries reflect one of Valpak's key aims - that it is important for householders to take unwanted and broken electrical items to the right place so that they can be mended, reused or recycled.

Paul Walker, who leads the NEIEP Waste and Environment Programme and is Chief Executive of Hartlepool Borough Council, said:

"It has been great to work with Valpak on this recent project and to see the work that they are carrying out in the region to provide solutions to our waste disposal problems.

With over 75 per cent of waste electrical goods ending up in landfill, hazardous materials are impacting on our environment. Seeking help from organisations like Valpak means simple and cost effective solutions to age-old problems. We want to encourage householders across the region to see WEEE not as waste but as a resource that can be given a new life if treated in the correct way. There's so much more that we could do in the North East to educate people and we want to get the message out there about how they can take just small steps and make a huge difference to the world around them."