WEEE Lite not guilty of breaching recycling regs

A lamp recycling scheme has been found not guilty of breaching regulations on the disposal of waste lighting products, after the Environment Agency abandoned the case.

WEEE Lite was accused of not sticking to a plan to collect the right amount of waste material, and not properly informing the authorities when it began to use two new treatment facilities.

But when the case reached trial at Sheffield Crown Court this week, the prosecution failed to present any evidence and a verdict of not guilty was reached on both counts.

The Environment Agency began proceedings last year in what was to be its first prosecution of a recycling scheme. A spokesman said yesterday: ‘The Environment Agency will always investigate in instances where information or concerns come to light and will give thorough consideration of the benefit to the public at each stage. Based on legal advice we don’t regard it in the public interest to proceed further with this case.’

In a letter to customers and staff, WEEE Lite boss Vince Eckerman said the Environment Agency had ‘really got this one wrong’ and had in the end ‘capitulated 100 per cent’. ‘We are now in a position to get our growth plan to become the leading producer compliance scheme for retailers and the real alternative in the lamp industry back on track,’ he said.

WEEE Lite was set up in 2008 by parent company Weeeco with the backing of lamp maker Megaman, and ran the Lighting Association’s LA Compliance scheme.

The verdict in the WEEE Lite case comes as the government considers changes to the regulations on WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment), in response to complaints that the current system allows companies that have access to waste material to profit unfairly at the expense of others.

The Environment Agency said it would continue to work with the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills to provide guidance to industry and tackle non-compliance with the WEEE regulations.

  • This story was updated on 26/7/13 to add comments from Vince Eckerman