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Record MRF output despite sampling registration drop

The latest data on the MRF sampling scheme for operators in England and Wales has shown record output tonnage from English plants despite a drop in the number of plants reporting.

Some 88 MRFs in England notified the Environment Agency (EA) for the Q1 2016 period, two less than for the previous quarter, in the latest data released by WRAP.

But only 85 of the registered MRFs submitted their sampling data for the latest period, while 100% of the 90 did so in the previous quarter.

In Wales, meanwhile, all 12 MRFs that registered submitted data, one more than last time.

The total tonnage of material leaving English MRFs in Q1 was 654,700 tonnes, the highest figure since reporting began in 2014. This is an increase of 57,676 tonnes on the previous quarter.

It was also a record quarter for material leaving Welsh MRFs at 68,041 tonnes.

Meanwhile, the total weight of material entering English MRFs in Q4 was 880,307 tonnes, which is 6,000 tonnes less than the previous quarter. The figure for Welsh facilities was the highest reported yet at 83,536 tonnes.

This included 13.9% contamination entering English MRFs while 11.9% went to Welsh facilities, both similar figures to last time.

The number of notifications remains fewer than half of the 200 facilities that Whitehall officials originally expected to qualify for the regime in England, previously revealed by MRW.

However, WRAP said in its previous data release that the majority of 120 sites the EA thought had failed to registered did not in fact reach the threshold for notification, as they receive less than 1,000 tonnes of material per quarter.

Commenting on the latest figures, WRAP said: “Facilities have been sampling and reporting for 18 months. The regulators are continuing their annual programme of announced and unannounced visits to each site.

“Users [of the portal] should be aware that any queries raised during the regulators’ validation processes are reported back to the facilities, but the data entries are not always rectified in response. This means the portal will include data for facilities where there is an outstanding validation issue.”

Data for April-June 2016 is expected in November.

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