Late last year EEESafe contacted David Moon, the Head of Resource Efficiency in Products and Services at WRAP, about the RecycleNow Website.
This website is basically manged by WRAP and it seemed unfair that WRAP were promoting some companies but not all, with regards to where donations could be passed. We were particularly interested in Electricals and we noticed specifically it advertised British Heart Foundation, which of course excluded everyone else in the UK from receiving Electrical Appliances via the RecycleNow website. Of course BHF do a wonderful work like many other charities in the UK, however there is evidence of demand from all over the UK which has already been researched by EEESafe. Therefore we felt that WRAP should look at this and take a stance to advertise everyone or none at all. We preferred the former, but we could see increased problems of resource usage, if that was taken. At first David Moon seemed hesitant to do anything, but EEESafe persisted and nailed its colours to the mast by asking 3 important questions. It was at that point David Moon decided he would discuss this internally with those who managed the site content. We were pleased to see that there was now going to be a change in January 2014 that would make the advice given, more generic. The latest details we have is that this will be done at the end of January 2014 and we look forward to having a fair playing field with regards to how WRAP promotes donations. WRAP are aware of the EEESafe Standard, and are currently evaluating responses to a consultation, that's generally not been favourably received by those in the Reuse/Repair Sector. Our own response at EEESafe was that whilst it was in essence not a bad idea for most items of Reuse, but we and the Trade Association of Indepdent Repairers, was to exclude Electricals from a proposed launch of a Generic Mark on Reuse. There are important safety issues that needed addressing in the repairs of Large Domestic Appliances, namely that reported by Government http://bit.ly/IcEB1Q there were 2000 Housefires caused by LDA's in 2011/12 and 15 Children died from housefires in that year also. http://bit.ly/1eOMrt9 No one wants to be the one with a fire or a fatality. With Reuse now a core element in the Governments' Waste Prevention Plans, we believe we are likely to see in an increase in DIY Appliance Repairers, Rogue Traders and more accidents and fires through lack of depth of knowledge, incorrect fitting and use of non Genuine Manufacturers parts. This is why we have a Competent Persons Scheme for Appliance Repairs and Centres that adhere to a standard to help prevent this. You wouldn't and shouldn't trust an Electrician to Fix an Appliance Repair competently. They are not trained in Appliance Repairs and don't have evidence of their depth of knowledge on Appliance Knowledge. Electricians are on a Register and now Appliance Technicians are joining a Register. The choice and risk is of course that of the consumer. For those interested, we've published the questions and answers as agreed with WRAP. Your comments are welcome or you can Contact us HERE:
- You are encouraging people to put items into a particular charity, and one that seems preferred for no reason, and bypassing all the other charities who are involved in helping communities with refurbished electricals. That still remains a particular issue that has no comprehensive and reasonable explanation.
- You are also encouraging the goods to enter an unregulated supply chain where there is no proven competency in the person repairing. Just because it’s a Charity does not justify you supporting them in the reuse of Electrical appliances, without documenting your reasons and evidencing that you can technically prove they are safe to use. I believe WRAP has a duty of care in this respect. The industry, through my DASA Council representation back the fact that PAT Testing does not make an Appliance safe to use. As this may be the case at BHF, I make this reference. It should be WRAP’s job to check this out before allowing them to utilise the RecycleNow website provided by WRAP.
- If you are to continue to allow BHF or any organisation donate electrical items via your site, it should also be WRAPs job to ensure that the people are proven competent in the repair process.
Q1: WRAP included British Heart Foundation on the Recycle Now website around four years ago when BHF were partners for a Recycle Now campaign to encourage householders to donate their electricals for recycling and re-use. At the time, BHF were actively accepting these products where others weren’t and they had a network of over 100 shops across the country where products could be handed in. A new version of the Recycle Now website is currently being finalised; text relating to the donation of electrical products for re-use is being updated, and will provide generic advice on the increased range of opportunities. Q2 and Q3: In regard to standards for preparing EEE/WEEE for re-use, PAS141 provides a recognised approach for re-use organisations. Questions regarding the competence of persons undertaking preparation for re-use under PAS141 can be referred to the Technical Advisory Committee for PAS141. Information on the governance of PAS141 is available at http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/certification-bodies-and-scheme-administrators.
Our final comment on the TAC is that PAS141 only audits the process but not the person(s) competence in repairs. Not withstanding that many tons of these items in PAS141 Centres could have been retained in the community. The only way you can be sure an Appliance is refurbished by a Competent Person is to look for the EEESafe Label on the Appliance.