During the outbreak, many household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) have closed and other waste electrical collections have been reduced, meaning fewer electricals are available for reuse and recycling.

WEEE’s funding will provide £5m of interest-free loans to electrical waste treatment facilities and £600,000 of grants to charity sector reuse organisations, to aid their survival during the pandemic.

Loans are open to all registered commercial approved authorised treatment facilities (AATFs) that have issued evidence of treatment in 2019, with 50% of the loan being paid in April and May 2020 and the rest available three months after the initial payment.

Grants are available to all registered charity AATFs.

Application forms for the grants and loans can be accessed by emailing info@weeefund.uk and applications are open until the end of May 2020.

The WEEE Fund allocated the money on behalf of the 2019 Compliance Fee Advisory Panel, after research and consultation identified the economic impact the coronavirus was having on the electrical waste recycling sector.

Phil Conran, chairman of the AATF Forum, said: “We welcome this initiative as a crucial lifeline for many AATFs at risk from the lack of WEEE supply following the widespread closure of council HWRCs.

“The potential loss of quality treatment capacity would be extremely damaging both environmentally and economically to the UK’s ability to meet recycling targets and treatment standards and this initiative should be considered as essential investment for the future.”

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