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Statement in response to the BBC’s Panorama programme

16 May 2011

On Monday 16 May, the BBC Panorama programme ‘Track my Trash’ revealed that three non-working television sets left at Civic Amenity sites in Croydon and Merton had been, or were in the process of being, exported to Africa in contravention of the Waste Electrical and Electronic (WEEE) Resources Regulations 2006.

The contract to manage these Civic Amenity sites and handle the waste brought to them is held by Environmental Waste Controls.  The contract was awarded and is managed by the South London Waste Partnership.

The South London Waste Partnership provided Panorama with a statement, which the programme producers unfortunately chose not to feature in the broadcast.

The South London Waste Partnership takes its responsibilities of reusing, recycling and disposing of waste in a responsible and sustainable manner extremely seriously. 

The seven Reuse and Recycling Centres managed by Environmental Waste Controls (EWC) on behalf of the Partnership are amongst the highest performing in the country – fully audited figures show that 75% of the waste brought to these sites is re-used or recycled. 

Electrical waste brought to the sites is handled by an EWC sub-contractor, DHL.  Contractually, it is DHL’s responsibility to ensure that electrical waste is handled in accordance with WEEE regulations. 

The South London Waste Partnership is extremely concerned about the findings of this investigation and thank the Environmental Investigations Agency (EIA) and the BBC for bringing them to our attention.

The Partnership has acted quickly and decisively in responding to these allegations: we have launched a full and thorough investigation that will look in detail at the actions of all contractors and sub-contractors involved in the running of these sites.     

While this investigation is ongoing, all activities relating to the re-use of televisions deposited at the Partnership’s Reuse and Recycling Centres have been suspended (televisions left by residents are being sent for recycling rather than reuse until the matter is resolved).

Similarly decisive action will be taken against any companies that are found to have acted in contravention of regulations.

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