Skip to main content

Electronic Equipment: Waste Disposal

Volume 503: debated on Monday 11 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the effects of zero exemption fees and small scale activities relating to environmental permit exemptions and the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive; and if he will make a statement. (307989)

We have just completed a fundamental review of exemptions from the need for an environmental permit for waste operations. Revised regulations will come into force on 6 April 2010. One of the aspects of the review was funding the recovery of the Environment Agency’s costs of registering exempt waste operations and carrying out appropriate periodic inspection. Currently, some exemptions from permitting are subject to annual registration fees, while the majority are not. We consulted on proposals to introduce a £50 fee for the registration of most exemptions. The majority of those who responded to this consultation were against the introduction of fees.

The Government concluded that in the current economic climate, imposing charges may discourage the take-up of small-scale waste recycling and recovery operations and have a disproportionate impact on small businesses. The Government therefore decided not to prescribe charges for the registration of exempt waste operations or to provide the Environment Agency with powers to introduce charges under its scheme of charging, agreed each year with the Secretary of State.

The exception to this is the exemption for the treatment of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), which is already subject to a registration fee to recover the costs of the mandatory annual inspection required under the WEEE Directive, 2002/96/EC. Under the revised regulations, the level of the registration fee for the WEEE exemption for the new three-year registration period will be in line with the current charges for annual registration and will be set out in the scheme of charges for 2010.