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Materials Facilities Data Shows Drop in Target Material

The latest materials facilities (MF) figures have been released by WRAP, revealing a decrease in the amount of target material being received by materials facilities in England. 

The ninth publication of data relates to the Q4 reporting period between October and December 2016, and is the first release of data since changes were introduced to sampling frequency in October last year.

Under the amended Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2014, MF operators of mixed waste are required to sample and report on the quality of input and output material sorted at facilities. Introduced in October 2014, the reporting is aimed to bring more transparency to the sorting and recycling of household waste. Facilities have now been sampling and reporting for 27 months. 

Published on WRAP’s MF Reporting Portal, the latest data reveals the average percentage (by weight) of target material received by responding MFs in Q4 2016 was 85.9 per cent for England and 89.7 for Wales. This shows a drop of 1.2 per cent for England compared to the previous quarter.

With 14.1 per cent of material rejected by MRFs in England compared with 12.9 per cent in the previous quarter, it is the highest level of contamination seen in England since Q4 2015. Wales, however, saw a 0.8 per cent increase in target material.

Plastic is shown to have the highest levels of contamination in England. The average percentage (by weight) of target material for glass has gradually declined in England since 2014, and now stands at 89.5 per cent. 

MRFs in England dealt with 3.8 per cent more material in Q4 2014 compared with the previous quarter an increasing by 32,000 tonnes to more than 884,400 tonnes.

Wrap says the Materials Facility Reporting Portal is available for waste suppliers (businesses and reprocessors) to inform feedback and enable discussions with their MF, and it can also provide local authorities with information on the quality of the material they are getting from their residents. However, participation figures continue to remain far lower than the 160 that were expected to fall under the regulations, with 87 facilities in England  reporting, and 12 in Wales.

In its commentary of the figures, Wrap says that the regulators are continuing their annual programme of announced and unannounced visits to MRF sites, which enable them to advise operators on the statutory sampling and reporting requirements and assess compliance.

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