United Kingdom – Co-mingled recycling collections and material recycling facilities (MRFs) form part of the UK’s recycling infrastructure and so we need to work within this framework to improve quality, stresses The Recycling Association (TRA) in response to a statement issued by the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) saying that it would prefer source separation of corrugated cardboard on quality grounds.
TRA, which champions the interests of the UK’s recovered paper industry, has welcomed the focus on quality but disagrees on the approach. ‘Of course, we share the desire of CPI to improve quality of material, and our Quality First campaign has been designed to help just that,’ underlines TRA’s chief executive Simon Ellin.
‘While CPI has a preference for source-separated collection, our members recognise that there are lots of benefits to co-mingled collection and we must work with all types of collection systems to improve quality,’ he notes.
According to Ellin, the use of MRFs has contributed to capturing more material by making it easier for households to recycle. ‘In turn, this has contributed to higher recycling rates,’ he adds.
Source-separated collections may not be possible everywhere, particularly in some urban areas where space for a number of recycling containers is more limited, TRA points out.
An interview with Simon Ellin will be published in the October issue of Recycling International.