Small and medium-sized UK hotels are missing out on cost savings and neglecting their environmental responsibilities due to ignorance of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations, claims a guidance body.
The regulations, introduced in January 2007 to reduce the amount of electrical waste going to landfill, requires producers of electrical and electronic equipment to join a Producer Compliance Scheme and to take responsibility for the treatment, collection and recycling of any waste electronic equipment produced since 2005.
For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including hotels, it means they may return their end-of-life electrical equipment to the producer and may no longer need to pay to send the waste to landfill.
A survey by environmental guidance website NetRegs found only eight percent of SMEs in the hotel and restaurant sector can name the WEEE regulations unprompted, and just 28 percent had heard of them once reminded – compared to a cross-sector average of 36 percent.
Additionally, 47 percent of SMEs in the hospitality sector have introduced practical measures to reduce their environmental impact.
NetRegs programme manager Richard Marin says although SMEs generate 60 percent or electrical waste in England and Wales, many wrongly believe WEEE is only relevant to the electrical sector.
“In fact, if you use a computer, a photocopier, or even a microwave in your staff kitchen, you need to be aware of what WEEE means for you,” Martin says.
“Businesses could save a significant amount of money just by rethinking their waste disposal.”
Hoteliers can check details of how the regulations affect them at www.netregs.gov.uk
By Elizabeth Clifford-Marsh