The government has filled a gap in the enforcement of new EU laws for disposing off computer waste.

Business consultancy and IT systems development firm Real Time Engineering will run a settlement centre under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive, which came into force in the UK this month.

Producers of electrical equipment are now responsible for financing its eventual environmentally safe disposal, and must join or form a producer compliance scheme.

Each scheme must provide documentary evidence of the amount of electrical waste it has handled and treated on behalf of its members to the settlement centre.

Local authorities – closely concerned in WEEE implementation because of their wider role in refuse collection and disposal – can recover the costs of treating electrical waste through the centre, if producer compliance schemes have not cleared electronic waste from council facilities.

The Local Government Association had earlier issued a warning that councils could be left to foot the bill for recycling of PCs and other electronic waste after a failure to tie up local authority recycling centres with partner-producer compliance schemes in time.

Energy minister, Malcolm Wicks said: β€œThe settlement centre will be a key component of the new Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment system in the UK, monitoring producer performance against their obligations and allowing them to trade evidence with other schemes.”

Earlier this month, a survey conducted by analyst firm Vanson Bourne for PC maker Lenovo found that up to a third of PCs sent for disposal by UK companies could still contain sensitive business data.