Latest MF data shows slight rise in Welsh target material

The average percentage of target material being received by materials facilities (MFs) in Wales rose by 1.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2016, the latest data published by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) suggests.

Latest MF data shows slight rise in Welsh target material
The data released yesterday (9 February) by WRAP covers the period between July and September (Q3) 2016, the eighth quarter since Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2014 required MFs that receive 1,000 tonnes or more of mixed waste material for sorting per quarter to provide quarterly details of the mixed waste tonnage received from each supplier and output tonnage for defined material streams.

The idea behind the change in regulations was to create greater transparency around material quality to enable a stronger evidence base behind decisions, encourage competition in the market and lead to higher quality recycling overall.

While the average percentage (by weight) of target material received by responding MFs in Q3 2016 increased by 1.3 per cent in Wales to 88.9 per cent, England’s figure, 87.1 per cent, represented a 0.1 per cent decrease.

The lowest average percentage (by weight) of a specified target material in the output material streams is for plastic in England (90.5 per cent), and glass for Wales (88.5 per cent).

Regulators still working to advise operators on reporting

Figures included in the 24 months that MFs have been reporting have all been very similar, with the main takeaway being the suggestions that a number of eligible facilities were not reporting their waste, with WRAP’s commentary in Q3 2015 admitting that ‘the number of notified site in England is significantly lower than originally anticipated’.

This quarter, 87 facilities in England submitted data, with waste attributed to 225 local authorities and 266 other suppliers, while 12 sites in Wales reported, up from ten in Q3 2014, the first reporting quarter.

In its commentary accompanying the data, WRAP said that the regulators (the Environment Agency in England and Natural Resources Wales in Wales) are continuing their annual programme of announced and unannounced visits to each site.

These visits, it says, enable the regulators to advise operators on the statutory sampling and reporting requirements and assess compliance with them, as well as provide advice on best practice as set out in the WRAP guidance. Any potential adjustments a facility might make to their sampling arrangements following feedback and guidance from their regulator, may not be immediately seen in their reported data on the portal due to timescales involved in reporting and publishing on the portal (which could be up to six months).

WRAP’s MF reporting commentary for the third quarter of 2016 can be found on the WRAP website.

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