SME Chamber

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment – Making a case to set up a Local WEEE Clearing House

WEEE Malta, the National Authorised WEEE Scheme has over four months ago requested Government to set up a WEEE Stakeholders Group with the specific aim of setting up a Clearing House. Whilst this has been set up, our call to set up a WEEE Clearing House has until now fallen on deaf ears. The Environmental Issues in this country are always an uphill struggle. Malta s obligation is to collect 42% of Electrical and Electronic Equipment placed by producers on the market ,thus 4300  tons of WEEE in 2016, (market 
placement registered with MEPA stands at 10, 450 tons) thus a daily collection of nearly 16.5 tons, Monday to Friday.
This cannot be done unless we get our act together and set up this Clearing House with the aim of making sure there is a fair and level playing field for all actors in this waste stream sector. And to make sure no WEEE makes its way outside the loop. At the same time it is imperative that Authorities enact legislation to ban all cash transactions at scrap metal facilites. All Stakeholders are to be registered with the Clearing House including Wasteserv Malta Limited, all Schemes, 68 Local Councils, Recyclers and Self Compliant Producers.
The responsabilities of the Clearing House will include but are not limited to :
  • Receiving requests for collection from Local Councils and processing such collections through WEEE Compliance Schemes,
  • Establish market share of each Scheme and delegate individual responsability to Schemes,
  • Ascertain that Recyclers do not receive unidentified WEEE
  • Make sure that self compliant producers report all WEEE movement in real time
  • Verifies amounts received by Wasteserv Malta Limited and provides theformula required to make sure that WEEE is proprtionately distributed to Schemes, by volume and category.
  • Establishes an educational campaign together with MSDEC
  • Establishes rebate value to be given to all Local Councils after discussions are held through Local Councils Association to reduce their current cost for collecting this material.
  • Provides timely information to the Regulator, either MEPA or ERA
  • Establishes fines to for non compliance to legislation by Schemes, Producers and Recyclers and individual duty of care obligations.
Across the EU WEEE Clearing Houses are the order of the day and we are not here to reinvent the wheel. The lack of such a Clearing House has already brought about its first undesired result. A WEEECompliance Scheme has issued a flat rate for all categories of WEEE. The introduction of this flat rate has provided a blow to creating further green jobs in this sector in Malta and this is why a Clearing House with legislative powers needs to be in place, This not a Directive that can be monitored after 18 months. Monitoring has to be done weekly and monthly and with consistency and from its initial days. We are not in for paper exercises.
The GRTU spearheaded the removal of Eco Contribution and this was later supported by other Consituted Bodies too. Our call eventually fell on the ears of a Labour Government that decided that the call of the Business Community needed to be heeded and taken seriously. Eco Contribution on EEE products was effectively removed as of September 01, 2015. 
In our proactive approach to this waste stream the GRTU set up WEEE Malta which is now a fully accredited member of the WEEE Forum, an umbrella Organization of 33 WEEE Schemes emanating from 22 different EU member States . Our dream was and still is to have a holistic system of operation including the point where local recyclers would need to operate under Cenelec Approved Standards or WEELABEX standards through local legislation too. 
WEEE Malta duly augers the newly set up Environment and Resources Authority Board led by Chairman Victor Axiak on their appiontment to this environmental challenge. The correct implementation of the WEEE Directive, albeit ten years late , needs to be one of their major responsabilities. The Board was fortunately born at the right time when the setting up of a Clearing House to implement fairly and sqaurely this EU Directive now lies solely in their hands. They will have all our support. 
‘WEEE Malta is a Waste electrical and Electronic Equipment Compliance Scheme set up by the Business Community through GRTU with the aim of operating on a not for profit basis to make sure that producers comply to their environmental legislation with the best technologies at the lowest of cost’ WEEE Malta can be contacted on 21 496965/6 during office hours’.

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