The role of EEE producers
By bringing the European directives 2002/96/EC and 2006/66/EC into Italian law, Legislative
decree 151/2005 extended an already established principle - that of producer
responsibility - to WEEE handling. "Producer" in this context means whoever
first introduces (produces, imports, or sells with its own trademark)
electrical and electronic equipment onto Italian soil.
Responsibility entails shouldering the funding and management of a system of recycling products once they become waste, as from the time when they are delivered to the collection sites and ending only at the time when those same products have been treated in compliance with rigid safety criteria and converted into secondary raw materials.
The responsibility of the Producers is collective and proportional to their respective market share. For this reason producer firms set up and belong to collective compliance schemes. ReMedia is one and has over 1000 members.
The role of Collective Compliance Schemes
Collective compliance schemes have the primary task of handling the transport, the treatment, and the recovery of household WEEE in compliance with the provisions of Legislative Decree 151/05 and the rules laid down by the WEEE Co-ordination Centre.
Some collective compliance schemes specialise in individual WEEE groups; they therefore mainly deal with certain product categories. Others - multi-category collective compliance schemes - range over all WEEE groups and handle all product categories.
ReMedia from its formation, has been the leading national consortium among multi-category collective compliance schemes and operates on a not-for-profit basis.
Through collective compliance schemes producers carry out the following activities:
1. collection of WEEE from collection sites;
2. transport of WEEE to proper treatment centres;
3. treatment of WEEE, in full compliance with environment legislation and with optimum recovery of materials.
Under Legislative Decree 151/05 it is a condition that producer compliance schemes, such as ReMedia, commit themselves to achieving set targets in the recovery of treated WEEE.
For example, for product categories under the general heading of consumer electronics, the target percentage recovery rate is at least 75% by weight of the equipment.
The rate of recovery attained by ReMedia is 90%, far above the statutorily required rate.
The other parties to the WEEE system
In addition to directly involving producers, the legislation allots specific tasks to the other parties involved in the WEEE cycle:
- the general public, which is invited to deliver its WEEE free of charge to local municipal authority collection sites or to sales points at the time they make a new purchase
- trade distributors, tasked with organising a free collection service for WEEE that is handed over by consumers when they buy a similar product (under Ministerial Decree 65/2010 there is a so-called "one for one" take back)
- municipal authorities, responsible for setting up proper collection sites where WEEE is delivered by the general public and by trade distributors.
WEEE Co-ordination Centre: set up by the collective compliance schemes, the WEEE Co-ordination Centre optimises and co-ordinates the functions they perform in order to guarantee uniform operating conditions.
National Register of WEEE Producers: it gathers the data on the quantities of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) released onto the market.
It is mandatory for all producers of household WEEE to be entered in the register.
Supervisory and Control Committee: keeps the EEE Register and calculates the respective market shares of the producers/collective compliance schemes. It monitors anomalies in the application of the legislation and data on the recovery targets.
Policy committee: it supports the Supervisory and Control Committee. In particular, it monitors the level of operation of the WEEE handling system, logistic functioning, and its economic soundness.