UK businesses are in the dark as key deadline passes
According to the results of a survey conducted by UK online reseller of business and IT equipment, WStore, SMEs are still not ready to cope with waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) legislation, which passed another significant milestone this week.
A staggering 47% of respondents to the survey admitted they were unaware of the packaging regulations and had never heard of the WEEE legislation. Not surprisingly, 60% of respondents were not implementing policies or procedures to cater for the new regulations.
The deadline for producers of electrical and electronic equipment to join a disposal compliance scheme was 15 March. This deadline will have cost implications for any business that doesnt plan the disposal of unwanted IT equipment. Many UK businesses have assumed they will not be adversely affected by the regulations, and are not aware they may be faced with the cost of disposal of old IT and electrical equipment.
Businesses will have to arrange, and pay, for their WEEE to be disposed of by an approved authorised treatment facility if the waste equipment was purchased before 13 August 2005, and is not being replaced with equivalent equipment. Similarly, businesses will have to pay for disposal if they can not trace the producer or their compliance scheme.
Stewart Hayward, WStore commercial director, said: What these changes mean for anyone buying, or selling, IT equipment is that the costs of recovering and disposing of packaging materials and the equipment itself will be met by increased prices. Assuming that you dont have to do anything, or the problem will be someone elses responsibility simply isnt good enough as many smaller businesses may discover to their costs.
Businesses will be able to negotiate their WEEE liabilities with their suppliers. Such agreements may form standard supply contracts in the future.
Hayward continued: Perhaps the most surprising finding of our survey has been that so many people havent even heard of the new regulations, this is in spite of the increasing amount of attention the issue of recycling has received in the press in recent years.
WStore was the UKs first web-based corporate IT reseller, established in July 1999. It uses the internet to reduce costs and streamline processes for business customers. WStore has developed an intelligent corporate purchasing system, strongly focused on communication and the provision of information to its customers. In addition the company provides a traditional service offering including installation, training and consultancy. In 2006 WStore was awarded a Catalist framework agreement by OGCbuying.solutions, to offer IT products to Government, Medical and Educational institutions. The agreement runs until 2010.
WStore Group is a pan European company with organisations in the UK and France, with 2005 revenue of 305m and employing some 370 people, WStore services a base of over 34,000 business customers within Europe. WStore UK Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of WStore Europe SA.