This year’s LARAC 2019 Conference was another fantastic event. It was wonderful to meet the new intake of scholars, and it was a great chance to get to know them all a little better. As always, I learnt a thing or two from the scholars who always surprise me with their extensive experience working in the waste sector. They always have really interesting things to tell me about WEEE in their own areas, from reuse cafes to communication campaigns.During the scholars’ introductory meeting, we looked at the introduction of the DRS system in Scotland and discussed feedback on the consultation. This was further explored on day two of the conference itself, with a presentation from Paul Doherty from Zero Waste Scotland. In both sessions the practicalities of the system were questioned, and the point was raised that local authorities may see a reduction in the quality of recyclate they collect from households with a resulting effect on revenues.
We also discussed the issues raised in REPIC’s latest WEEE insights paper, which highlights the disparity between EEE POM vs the WEEE available for collection, and the difficulties this leads to with collection targets (see link below). We discussed what we, as consumers, do with our waste electricals and considered which types of appliances get reused, sold or recycled and by whom. This links into leakage from the WEEE system, as it brings into question whether appliances are genuinely leaking out or whether they never make it into the system in the first place.
It was great to see that the scholars are all keen to get involved in REPIC’s annual LARAC scholars WEEE site tour and roundtable discussion. In previous years, this event has proven to be beneficial in demonstrating how WEEE is recycled and the roundtable debate is always a good chance to share different perspectives. The date and location will soon be announced and the scholars will be notified directly via LARAC – so watch this space!
Thanks again to LARAC for a fantastic conference - see you next year!
And see you soon, LARAC Scholars!