Dáil Éireann - Volume 602 - 24 May, 2005

Written Answers - Recycling Policy.

  425. Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the concern felt by electrical retailers in respect of the recycling of fridges, washing machines, small appliances and batteries, and to the fact that retailers believe that, in cases in which local authorities do not have facilities to handle such products, retailers may be required to obtain an EPA waste management licence to provide a special bonded area for storage of these products; if his attention has further been drawn to the fact that it may be necessary for retailers to provide specialist waste training for their staff and that the cost of insurance on such retailers may increase dramatically; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17367/05]

  Mr. Roche: The draft regulations reflect the scope of the directive, which is the taking back on a one-for-one basis of WEEE of similar type to or fulfilling the same function as the new item being purchased. This is also in line with the recommendation made by the taskforce. Retailers will also be able to transfer collected WEEE to civic amenity sites free of charge. They may by agreement with the appropriate local authorities make alternative arrangements to in-store take back, provided that such arrangements are not more inconvenient for the purchaser and remain free of charge. Costs in terms of staff training and insurance are normal [2027] business outlays and I do not consider that implementation of the directive will impose disproportionately in that regard.

To minimise the regulatory burden of the WEEE directive, the draft regulations propose that retailers be allowed to avail of an exemption from the normal waste permitting requirements for the storage and transport of WEEE in certain circumstances. Under the modified regime, which [2028] will be considerably less burdensome than the normal collection and waste permitting requirements, retailers will be required to register their premises with their local authority. All comments and observations received on the draft regulations will be considered by my Department in finalising the regulations, which I intend to make in advance of the implementation of the WEEE directive on 13 August 2005.