EPA Prosecutes Adelphi Distributors Ltd. under the WEEE Regulations

Date released: Sep 15 2008

On 12 September 2008, Adelphi Distributors Ltd., Waterford Airport Business Park, Waterford, pleaded guilty to charges brought by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in relation to four offences under the Waste Management (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) (WEEE) Regulations 2005.

At Waterford District Court Judge William Early heard the case and the company admitted breaching the Regulations by:

  • Placing electrical and electronic equipment on the market at a time when the company was not registered with the WEEE Register Society Ltd. as a producer of such equipment.
  • Failing to declare the quantities, by weight or number of units, of electrical and electronic equipment placed on the market to the WEEE Register Society Ltd.

Fines totalling €2,000 were imposed in relation to the four charges and costs of €8,250.25 were awarded to the EPA.

Commenting on the prosecution Dr Gerry Byrne, Programme Manager, EPA said

“This is the EPA’s second prosecution of a company for failing to comply with their producer obligations under the WEEE Regulations in recent months. A number of prosecutions have been taken previously against retailers.  The EPA urges all companies that are failing to comply their obligations under the WEEE Regulations to work proactively to meet their obligations or they may face enforcement action.”

Further information: Niamh Leahy, EPA Press Office 053 9170770 (24-hours)

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment is made up of many different materials and components, some of which are hazardous. The Regulations aim to prevent the generation of electrical and electronic waste and to promote reuse, recycling and other forms of recovery. Failure to comply with the requirements of the Regulations has the potential to reduce the amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment that can be collected and diverted from landfill.

WEEE Enforcement:
The EPA’s Resource Use Unit is the lead enforcer of the WEEE Regulations. Since August 2005, extensive correspondence has been initiated alerting retailers and producers of EEE to their obligations. Most companies have complied with the Regulations. While the EPA is hopeful that those contacted will work towards compliance without recourse to legal action, four successful prosecutions have now been taken under the WEEE Regulations.

Local authorities also have a role in enforcing many of the articles in the Regulations for example ensuring that free one-for-one take-back is available, registration of all retailers and providing civic amenity sites for WEEE. The EPA and local authorities exchange information and enforcement support through a WEEE Working Group and the Office of Environmental Enforcement’s Environmental Enforcement Network.

Electronically collated information on WEEE with direct links to additional information sources, the national producer registration body (WEEE Register Society Ltd.) and the compliance schemes etc has been set up at: www.weee-enforcement.ie

The EPA is an active participant in the WEEE Monitoring Group and meetings of the WEEE Register Society Ltd. Links have been made with regulators in other countries to share experiences in the enforcement of WEEE.