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Distributor Take-back Scheme
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DTS Information

1. What is the DTS?

Under The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2013 (as amended), distributors (usually retailers) of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) can either:

  • Offer in store take-back of waste electrical equipment on a one for one, like for like basis, or
  • Join the Distributor Take-back Scheme (DTS)

The DTS is operated by Valpak Retail WEEE Services and allows members an exemption from the in store take-back requirement of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) when a new equivalent piece of EEE is purchased. The DTS is the only scheme which allows members an alternative to offering take-back for all WEEE categories, except for PV panels. There is a separate scheme which covers PV panels.

The DTS has been operating since 2007. Phase 7 of the scheme runs from 1 January 2024 until 31 December 2026.

In addition, under the UK WEEE Regulations, distributors who supply new EEE from retail premises where the sales area relating to EEE exceeds 400m² must provide facilities to collect very small WEEE (see Electrical waste: retailer and distributor responsibilities ), regardless of whether similar new equipment is purchased. regardless of whether similar new equipment is purchased. The DTS alternative for retailers who meet this requirement in 25% or more of their stores is to make an additional payment equivalent to 25% of the applicable fees.

The WEEE regulations are enforced by The Office for Product Safety & Standards (OPS & S):

Please note that if you supply EEE or batteries you may also have additional producer obligations. Joining the DTS does not cover you for these obligations. To find out more please visit Guidance on EEE Producer Responsibilities and Guidance on Waste Batteries Producer Responsibility .

2. Use of DTS Funds

Membership fees collected are used for WEEE projects which aim to increase the rate of WEEE collection, reuse and recycling in the UK. New Civic Amenity (CA) sites which are publicly accessible and allow for the collection of all WEEE streams are also considered to receive funding.

The majority of fees paid into the scheme will be passed to Local Authorities for special projects to specifically increase the collection rate of WEEE in the UK.

Further details of the process and project criteria for Local Authorities will be released when the Project Fund is open for applications in Phase 7.

3. Members Area & CIOs

Members of the DTS have access to the Members’ Area where they can access their certificate and download documentation to assist in meeting their Consumer Information Obligations. This documentation includes posters to display in store, website wording and a wealth of other materials.

Distributors must ensure that information under Regulation 44 is available on request. The requirements of regulation 44 are met by the poster and standard website wording. The poster should therefore be either displayed in stores or available to produce on request, for example at a customer service desk. The website wording should be easy to find on a member’s website.

Details on the CIOs can be found in the following regulations:

4. EU WEEE Collection Report

Assessment of WEEE collection systems and their effectiveness in other European countries

In preparation for the regulatory review the DTS commissioned and funded a research project by Eunomia during 2019, with the following objectives:

  • Develop an understanding of how other EU member states meet the distributor obligation requirements for take-back under the WEEE Directive – Art. 5(2)(b) and (c).
  • Understand the effectiveness of the take-back mechanisms currently in place in other EU member states to assess any opportunities for the UK to improve its end of life collection rate of WEEE.

To view this report please click here.