Information

New regulations regarding smoke alarms: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.


Information requested

  1. How many smoke alarms which do not fit the new regulations have been disposed of since 1 January 2022?
  2. How many smoke alarms which do not fit the new regulations have been disposed of since 18 March 2018?
  3. How many of these smoke alarms were recycled?
  4. How many were put in a landfill?
  5. Any correspondence between local authorities and the Scottish government regarding smoke alarm legislation?

Response

How many smoke alarms which do not fit the new regulations have been disposed of since 1 January 2022?
How many smoke alarms which do not fit the new regulations have been disposed of since 18 March 2018?


We have not made an assessment of how many fire and smoke alarms will be disposed in the timelines suggested or as a result of the new regulations coming into force. Fire and smoke alarms are classed as small electrical equipment items and most are suitable for recycling. We encourage people to either return alarms to the retailer or take them to their local authority recycling centres as they already would do together with other items for recycling.

How many of these smoke alarms were recycled?
How many were put in a landfill?


The Scottish Government has not produced a forecast of the number of smoke alarms that will be recycled. The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) previously published advice on the Management of end-of-life smoke detectors, including advice for businesses and households on safe disposal and promoting the environmentally sound management of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) devices.
https://www.sepa.org.uk/media/505349/management_of_end_of_life_smoke_detectors.pdf

 

The Scottish Government has not produced a forecast of the number of smoke alarms that will go to landfill. End-of-life ionisation chamber smoke detectors fall into the scope of current WEEE regulations. These regulations were introduced to increase responsible re-use and recycling, and reduce the amount of WEEE going to landfill. Disposal of the smoke detector in normal refuse is prohibited by the WEEE regulations.

SEPA and other UK Environment Agencies continue to engage with the WEEE sector, and remind all WEEE compliance schemes of the Agencies’ expectations regarding obligations under the take back provisions. Any scheme who refuses to accept WEEE from a distributor or final holder in the situations set out in regulations will be in breach of their conditions of approval.

Any correspondence between local authorities and the Scottish government regarding smoke alarm legislation?

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600. The reason for this is that to locate and retrieve that information we would need to conduct a search of all of the records of the Scottish Government. It may help if I explain that we file our information according to the subject matter, not by reference to Local authorities and the Scottish Government. Under Section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under section 12.

You may, however, wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600. For example, you could specify the subject matter(s) of the Local authority you are interested in or restrict your request to a specific business area of the Scottish Government, as this would allow us to limit the searches that would require to be conducted. You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner's 'Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs' on his website at: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/Tipsforrequesters.aspx.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

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