The Plymouth City Council has been fined after the Environment Agency complained that the council had allowed unauthorised third parties to take discarded electronics products from its waste disposal plants and sell them.
The council was fined £8,000 plus £3,742 by court magistrates in Plymouth under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive), the guidelines on how to handle electronic waste material.
Local firms operating in Plymouth had taken TV and computer hardware from two council waste disposal sites and sold the hardware for export.
The agency believes that some of the waste was exported to Ghana.
Chris Rogerson, business development manager at ShP, one of the few authorised electronic waste reseller, said: “The Government is trying to streamline the system, so that mistakes like this do not happen again. WEEE accounts for four per cent of waste in the EU, and it is the fastest growing category.”