WEEE projects funded by the Compliance Fee and DTS

Evaluation of Compliance Fee and Distributor Takeback Scheme-funded WEEE projects.

This report analyses local authority projects aimed at boosting the collection, reuse and recycling of electrical and electronic waste in the UK. The projects were supported by the WEEE Fund and Distributor Takeback Scheme fees. 

The WEEE Fund is made up of money collected through the Producer Compliance Fee, a mechanism designed to ensure that manufacturers, retailers and importers in the UK take financial responsibility for recycling Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE).

The purpose of this report was to assess all projects up to 2018 to inform the way the WEEE Fund would be disbursed in future.

Method

The research was desk-based, drawing on information provided in evaluation forms that participating local authorities submitted on completion of their project. Thirty projects were categorised by type of location and type of project, and evaluated for the additional quantity of recycling they contributed, and value for money.

Key findings

The report finds that certain types of projects were successful, but that project planning and execution were critical.

  • Successful projects tended to involve collaboration, innovation, good planning and targeting, and use of supporting publicity. Collection events yield the best results, but successes were observed for all types of activity types in well-run projects. High performing projects also tended to be best value for money. 
  • Less successful projects often involved a failed partnership, lack of clarity over levels of commitment, and lack of resources (money, equipment, skills). Projects that relied on collecting WEEE of a certain quality was challenging and resulting collections featured older and more damaged items than expected. Across all projects, service promotion was a critical element – those that performed poorly typically had either no promotion, a confusing message, or a poorly-timed campaign.

Future bidders

The report draws out recommendations for future bidders engaging with the WEEE Fund. These include: 

  • a need for realism about the quality of items that will be returned; 
  • the critical importance of publicity, partnerships, and investment in the local community in securing participation; 
  • a the need for effective resource and contingency planning.

The report also urges reviewers of funding bids to 

  • challenge the messaging, reach, targets and methods of delivery of publicity plans; 
  • challenge anticipated levels of commitment from potential partners parties; and 
  • pay attention to detail, robust work plans and realistic ambitions, as essential components.

Find out about applying for funding.

Evaluation of Compliance Fee and Distributor Takeback Scheme-funded WEEE projects

Dr Richard Peagam, Anthesis, August 2018. PDF, 15 pages.

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