Dragos Calugaru, General Manager of ECOTIC, explains the impact of the draft GO for the amendment of GEO 196/2005 on the EEE / WEEE and BA / DBA market following the conclusions from the public debate that took place on 04.03.2016.
"In the opinion of ECOTIC, the strengthening of the application of the law, the so-called "enforcement", is necessary in everything that means WEEE and DBA. The current situation in which the control is insufficient, has allowed the functioning of some irresponsible OTRs (responsibility transfer organizations) and of some “treatment” operators detached from another century or issuers of fictitious reports. And at the level of producers, the assumption of responsibilities is more voluntary and in many cases the system is circumvented, the correct producers being unfairly competed.
Waste management, in order to align with European requirements and demands, needs a dramatic change and this draft normative act is one of the necessary means.
Therefore, we consider the positive aspects of this project to be the following:
- Imposing a tax on final storage (on the landfill) will have effects in stimulating separate collection, both at the level of local authorities and at the level of citizens on whom the impact will translate into the payment of more money for waste. Increasing the level of separate waste collection will certainly have a positive impact on the separate collection of WEEE and DBA at least by stimulating the change in population behavior.
- AFM control in WEEE and DBA system will mean the sorting of OTRs that have a purpose other than the declared one but also of the operators (there are 800 collection operators and 80 WEEE treatment operators). We hope that the fictional reports will become history.
- Penalties for targets not met by OTRs would take effect in 2019, thus having some time to develop a proper collection system. However, I reinforce the fact that, if the authorities do not intervene in the area where the WEEE is leaking, we will not have results at national level.
On the other hand, there are some aspects that, if left as they are now written, will generate several discrepancies that will certainly not help to achieve the purpose of the legislation, namely to achieve the collection targets:
- The penalties of 6 lei per kg on the unreached target for WEEE are able to close the activity of an OTR even in the conditions in which it has achieved its target in a percentage of 90%. Our proposal is to establish performance thresholds and to penalize differently - from 0.5 lei per kg for performances over 90% to 6 lei / kg for performances below 50% and also to impose a maximum penalty threshold of 10 % of turnover.
- There is a gray area of the products in terms of whether or not they are EEE. Examples such as: gas boiler, safe with electric lock, whirlpool tub, circulation pumps in a heating circuit and other devices where the situation is unclear. Or, if a manufacturer considers that his product is not EEE, in the absence of any guidance from the authorities and then comes AFM and considers the opposite, the impact is major and can close the activity of a manufacturer. Therefore, clarification of this area is urgently needed.
- A difficult and very bureaucratic aspect will be the monthly reporting to AFM of EEE and BA put on the market by each producer. It is true that in this way the packaging is also reported to Intrastat with the same frequency. However, this will greatly hinder the activity of producers and they will feel suffocated by more and more demands from more and more institutions. An annual report is sufficient and there are other ways to track who is circumventing the system.
- Another very difficult aspect is the closing of the situations on January 25 for the previous year, given that the current data are March 20 for EEE and February 28 for BA. We believe that the deadlines must be kept as they are now because there are many particular situations to be clarified, aspects that require time and effort.
Our conclusion is that, given that the final form will include relevant issues, received as a result of public debate and that are in line with the purpose and spirit of the WEEE and DBA directive, the situation will move towards good and normalcy.
We reiterate that no matter how drastic measures will be imposed on producers, in the absence of proactivity of the authorities to block WEEE leaks and cooperation of local authorities in order to ensure a public WEEE collection service for citizens, national targets will not be met and penalty measures will generate closures of activity and unemployment. ”
ECOTIC General Manager