MRF regulations should not be the “end of process” says CIWM


CIWM has said the new MRF Code of Practice regulations are a good first step in the drive for higher quality recycling.

But chief executive Steve Lee said that this should only be the first stage.


He said: “We welcome the new MRF regulations as a good starting point in the drive for higher quality and we would expect responsible operators to be using these as the minimum standard of good practice. It is essential that the regulations are properly audited and enforced and during consultation, CIWM called for unannounced as well as pre-arrange inspections. We are, therefore, pleased to see that the regulators have agreed to this in principle, subject to a charging consultation to be issued later this year.

“In setting our what is effectively a monitoring and reporting regime, however, the regulations fall short of providing the robust quality blueprint that some in the industry had hoped for.

“Quality underpins the value of recycling and resource management to all parties in our industry: local authorities, the waste industry and UK business. CIWM is disappointed, therefore, that the Government has missed an opportunity to tie the new regulations more closely into the requirement for ‘high quality recycling’ in the Waste Framework Directive. This could have provided a more definitive framework for those looking to demonstrate that they are achieving high quality recycling.

“These regulations have been hard fought for but they should not be the end of the process. Greater transparency and confidence are important to drive out illegal operators and poor performers and greater quality is essential to ensure that valuable recovered materials can be used to benefit the UK economy. All parties in the industry must continue to work together to achieve these goals.”

In a statement issued by the Kent Resource Partnership (KRP) on behalf of chair Cllr Paul Barrington-King and vice chair David Brazier, they said: “The KRP welcomes the introduction of the MRF regulations and supports effective enforcement by the regulatory authorities in all nations of the UK. Many of the scheme characteristics we called for at the time of the Defra consultation have been adopted in the regulations and the accompanying Sampling Guidance.

“This includes transparency of published information about MRF quality of recyclates sent to reprocessors. As all new regulations need a period of actual delivery on the ground to test rigour and ‘fitness for purpose’, we’ll be watching with interest to see how things go from all perspectives of the supply chain.”  

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