DEFRA confirm household WEEE collection targets for 2020

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have confirmed the household WEEE collection targets for 2020, lowering them given the shortfall against achieving 2019 targets

The UK household WEEE collection target for 2020 has been confirmed and is 497,338 tonnes. This is 5,149 less than the total amount of household WEEE collected and reported by compliance schemes to the environment agencies in 2019. The target for 2020 is 53,189 tonnes less than the 2019 target.

The table below shows the tonnes collected in previous years per category, as well as the 2019 targets and draft 2020 targets compared with the finalised, revised 2020 targets following consultation with the industry.

Defra undertook a five-year trend analysis of WEEE collections to distinguish the total tonnage for collection of each category of WEEE. Alterations were then made where previous growth trends were judged not to be reflective of current market dynamics or where forecasts were judged to provide for too conservative targets.

This is what led to Defra's original proposed UK household WEEE collection target of 537,975 tonnes, However, the main point taken from the industry feedback on the proposal was the ambiguity brought about by Covid-19 and its impact on WEEE collections. Social distancing measures have resulted in the closure of most Household Waste Recycling Centres and many other collection routes are not currently operating. Sales of new appliances have also been significantly affected.

Whilst it isn’t possible to quantify the impact of Covid-19 on 2020 WEEE collections just yet, Defra has taken the decision to amend the 2020 targets proposed in our earlier news story (click HERE) to reflect actual collections reported by compliance schemes in 2019, excluding Categories 11 and 14. The 2020 targets have not been reduced further at this stage to ensure that WEEE collections are not dis-incentivised and compliance schemes have been urged to do all that they possibly can to ensure WEEE available for collection is delivered into treatment facilities.

Our Deputy Compliance Team Manager Faye Perry said in response to this news: “It’s encouraging to see confirmed targets lower still following concern within the industry that the proposed targets were still unachievable in some categories”.

If you have queries regarding these targets you can view the full document from Defra HERE, or email