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Commingling: MRW View - The evidence is still out

It felt initially, when MRW posed the question, that there was reluctance among people to go on the record with their opinions about commingling waste.

Not surprisingly, this is a touchy subject: the judicial review (JR) of the transposition of the revised Waste Framework Directive looms later this month. And the debate about commingling vs kerbside sort has been long-running: MRW has reported on this at least since 2005.

Furthermore, there is a disagreement about hard evidence in favour of or against commingling - there is not yet a definitive study.

Despite an initial hesitancy across the industry, the commingling debate proved to be alive and well. We received almost 100 responses to our poll on the issue on our website and LinkedIn group - where the poll sparked a lengthy discussion in the comments.

More than half of the poll respondents agreed that greater commingling would generate higher recycling rates.

Perhaps there is a growing acceptance of commingling as it becomes more prevalent? As Jennie Rogers from commented in one of our news stories, kerbside sort is now in the minority, offered by only 32% of councils in contrast to 43% that operate single-stream collections and 25% that operate two-stream collections.

But uncertainty still prevails. As well as the JR, European environment commissioner Janez Potocink told MRW that the European Commission is examining the English transposition of the directive and will report back this spring.

We await the developments in this saga with anticipation, and will keep you informed. And do join the debate.

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