£600,0000 grants launched to support charity electrical waste reuse organisations in response to the Coronavirus crisis

Press Release: 25th May 2020

Material Change (formerly the The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Fund (WEEE Fund) has today announced its “WEEE Support Grants Package” to help support the charity electricals waste reuse organisations as a result of the impact of the coronavirus. With many household waste recycling centres closed and other waste electrical collections reduced, the flow of electricals for reuse and recycling has been constrained.

The “WEEE Support Grants Package” will help support the continuation of the UK waste electricals reuse system as the sector deals with the impact of the coronavirus. The funding will provide £600,000 grants for charity sector reuse organisations and is part of a wider package of measures available to the waste electricals sector.

Material Change structured and allocated the fund on behalf of the 2019 Compliance Fee Advisory Panel, following extensive consultation and research amongst the electrical waste recycling and reuse sector. The research identified the economic impact that the corona virus was having on the sector.

Scott Butler, Executive Director, WEEE Fund, said: “This is a fund that has been made available to provide rapid help and support to the electrical waste reuse sector as a result of the impact of the coronavirus. The grants are being made available by Material Change from the WEEE Fund; funded by producers of electricals. We’ve designed the application process to ensure speedy allocation of funding, and included a range of support for re-use and recycling organisations.”

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “Right across the waste sector, I’m hugely grateful to the enormous effort being put in to keep crucial services running; and in such unprecedented times I understand the pressure the industry is under. This fund will help the sector to weather the effects of the coronavirus outbreak. Crucially it will also enable people to do the right thing and recycle more as we move towards a more circular economy.”

Craig Anderson, CEO, Re-Use Network said: “During this crisis Reuse charities are working in new and creative ways to respond to the needs of their communities. Although high street retail has stopped, the demand for emergency supply of refurbished household appliances for frontline staff and people being rehoused is urgent and increasing. This funding will not only help stabilise the WEEE Reuse charity sector, but will also mean they will be able to process and supply electricals to those most affected by Covid19, self-isolation and lockdown.”

Details regarding the grants:
● Applications for the grants are open now and can be accessed through emailing a request for the application form to weeefundgrants@reuse-network.org.uk. Applications are open until 5pm, Monday 1st June 2020.
● Grants are available to all registered charity AATF’s.
● A simple application process has been designed, which is being administered by the Reuse Network.

The 2019 Compliance Fee Advisory Panel includes the following representative organisations: Defra, AATF Forum, ICER, LARAC, NAWDO, WEEE Schemes Forum (WSF), Reuse Network, Joint Trade Associations (JTA), and the Environmental Services Association (ESA).

The Panel drew on extensive research and consultation amongst the WEEE sector to design the funding scheme that provides support during these unprecedented times.

Additional note from The Reuse Network: There is £150k available to charity reusers of donated EEE. Obviously charity shops do electrical and PAT testing as part of their retailing, but here they are looking for EEE reusers with significant repair and testing – and will also need to see their test sheet examples to ensure full functional and safety testing. The fund would be for standalone infrastructure on EEE testing – e.g. specialist workshops for IT, appliances and so on. They need an Expression of Interest in the first instance to weeefundgrants@reuse-network.org.uk email address; you will then be sent the application form and T&Cs.