The UK government is believed to be on the verge of announcing that
implementation of the Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE)
directive may be delayed again by up to six months.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Trade and Industry confirmed that an announcement around the directive, which has already been delayed six months, would be made this week but wouldn't confirm any more details.
The directive was originally meant to become law in the UK in
August this year, but in March the DTI announced it would be delayed
until January 2006. Then in August the DTI announced that the
legislation would be delayed until at least June 2006.
The UK government has been heavily criticised by the European
Commission for dragging its heels over the recycling initiative. The EC
sent a warning to the UK government in July warning that the government
could be taken before the European Court for failing to enact
legislation in the specified time-frame.
The most recent delays are believed to be linked to the
government's decision to reject industry calls for a National Clearing
House – the mechanism proposed for how waste technology will actually
be collected and distributed to recyclers. Businesses are believed to
be concerned that the alternative suggested by the DTI is not logical
]The European Commission announced in July that it was taking
legal action against Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Malta,
Poland and the UK. All eight countries have yet to enact the WEEE
directive into national law.
"We need an explanation as to why countries can't implement
legislation. This directive had been on the books for a long time, and
other countries have implemented it," a spokeswoman for the EC's
environment commissioner told ZDNet UK at the time.