Tuesday, 30 May 2017

WEEE Ireland bolsters Ireland’s recycling capabilities with WEEE Europe and PV Cycle Partnerships

WEEE Ireland, Ireland’s largest electrical and battery recycling scheme today announced a new partnership with PV Cycle, launching an industry-led takeback and recycling solution for electronic and electrical solar energy equipment, which will strengthen the nationwide collection of PV Module Waste in Ireland.

The exciting new collaboration means WEEE Ireland will now offer waste take back services on behalf of Scheme Members for photovoltaics (PV) such as solar panels as well as household and dual use electrical and electronic appliances, waste batteries and lighting equipment The innovative partnership with PV Cycle – European specialists in PV compliance services comes at an exciting time for WEEE Ireland who were recently recognised as “best in practice” leaders in recycling of household WEEE at the European WEEE Forum Conference in Malta last month.

At today’s seminar, WEEE Ireland also highlighted the extension of its best in class Irish compliance service, outlining a new Pan European solution for multinational Producers with partners WEEE Europe.

Details of the joint initiative were unveiled today by Elizabeth O’Reilly, Compliance Manager at WEEE Ireland and Jan Clyncke, Managing Director of PV Cycle, at the recently opened Rediscovery Centre in Ballymun. Jorge Vicente, Senior Board member of WEEE Europe, also spoke at the event where he outlined international WEEE legislation and challenges that lie ahead for the industry in 2018. Of particular note, a change in categorisation and an opening of the scope of the Directive from August next year could mean significant changes for manufacturers and distributors. This will impact how they comply, finance and report on the environmental management of electrical appliances throughout product lifecycle including the waste phase.

Speaking of the partnerships at the launch, Elizabeth O’Reilly of WEEE Ireland said, “Here at WEEE Ireland we take pride in our ability to manage sector specific solutions for WEEE waste management and the programmes with PV Cycle and WEEE Europe represent a natural extension of our existing offering.”

In her presentation to the industry O'Reilly highlighted the importance of understanding WEEE compliance requirements in Ireland for PV technology importers; "Solar PV is set to become one of the most important and fastest growing energy technologies and it is essential we have PV module waste collection facilities to meet that growing demand and that a sustainable financing system is in place for future recycling liabilities of existing infrastructure. In 2016 alone, PV Cycle collected 1.803 tonnes of PV module waste in ten European countries. Through our new partnership, Ireland can now contribute to this significantly, and play a vital role at EU level in the quality management of PV Waste in line with our shared commitments to the environment and resource efficiency”.

In 2014, national WEEE obligations came into force for producers and importers of PV Panels under the scope of the WEEE Directive. Prior to this, PV module recycling was done on a voluntary basis under the 2007 European PV industry led “Extended Producer Responsibility” code of conduct. This collaborative new WEEE Ireland PV Cycle agreement helps Irish consumers and businesses alike fulfil their European wide commitment toward the ultimate recycling and recovery of PV panel waste.