The 1st February 2013 saw the long-awaited launch of the Code of Practice for material recycling facilities (MRFs) by resource minister Lord de Mauley. The event in Southwark also saw the unveiling of a Quality Action Plan, in news that will interest many of those who have used computer recycling specialists like Collect and Recycle (http://www.collectandrecycle.com).
As a result of the Code of Practice, presently in draft form, all MRFs of a certain minimum size will need to measure the quality of their inputs and outputs. Users of services like aluminium recycling would then be able to see the results, whether they are local councils or others responsible for supplying material to the MRFs, or organisations that purchase the recycling material.
The mandatory code has arisen from an initiative developed by the trade association for the UK’s waste management sector, the Environmental Services Association (ESA). Although it is anticipated that businesses involved in affected areas like computer disposal will spend around £13 million implementing the MRF code and quality action plan, the Government has anticipated that the resulting higher material revenue and reduction in landfill costs will bring them a net saving of £31 million. Greenhouse gas emissions will also be reduced.
Lord de Mauley commented at the official launch event of the “strong business and environmental case for driving up quality”, adding that “it is in all our interests to obtain the maximum economic value from our recyclates, whatever the material. The right levels of quality unlock and deliver value to the whole supply chain. Get the quality right, and this consultation will help do that, I hope, and manufacturers that use recyclates will want access to greater quantities.”
The minister said that while “there has been a quiet revolution in the volume of cycling collected, processed and traded … quality is perhaps as important”. He praised WRAP for supporting the MRF code and the ESA and its members for their early input in its development. Although the minster seemed to give out mixed messages on the code’s mandatory aspects in a question and answer session, it is understood that the code is mandatory and the accompanying Quality Action Plan is more voluntary in nature.
Delivery of the MRF code will take place through alterations to the Environmental Permitting Regulations (England and Wales) which would be in force by April 6 2014. Consultations opened today on the proposals, with April 26 the deadline for responses. The regulations will apply to all permitted MRFs that process over 1,000 tonnes of dry recyclate per annum.
As leading specialists in electrical waste recycling, Collect and Recycle (http://www.collectandrecycle.com) welcomes moves to better regulate our industry to the benefit of all parties. We remain abreast of the latest amendments to the law in our provision of fridge recycling and similar services, ensuring that customers benefit from a service that is entirely legal as well as affordable, practical and reliable.