According to Willingale, glass destined for aggregate is being highly contaminated by food waste in some MRFs, which Day Group has to wash off before sending on for use.
He claims it is a widespread issue across MRFs in the UK: “As the [number of] MRFs have increased, then so has the amount of glass going through them, so more material is picking up food waste from the MRF along the way. Technically, there shouldn’t be food waste within the MRF in the first place, which is a problem with the quality of the material feeding into the MRF. The level of contamination of the glass should be checked before leaving the MRF. As a company, we have to deal with some fairly high levels of contamination.”
Willingale told MRW that it is very important food waste is washed off glass before it is used as aggregate, as this could potentially lead to the generation of pathogens. Day Group has always washed its glass, as it is used for high quality applications such as in tiles, golf courses and asphalt.
He added: “The general consensus is the glass quality coming out of MRFs needs to be improved. MRFs that have opened recently have made a concerted effort to improve the glass coming out because they have more sophisticated processing systems to sort the material. It’s not just the MRF operators that need to improve the material quality but also the merchants collecting the glass in the first place.”