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Collections study prompts materials value flow concerns

Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) chairman Lee Marshall has urged members to look closely at their material recycling facility (MRF) arrangements following the release of a recycling collections study (see MRW story).

Marshall welcomed the report by the Waste & Resources Action Programme, but said: While not yet providing the full picture, this research gives a much better base of information [on collection schemes] on which local authorities can make decisions.

However, he added: The report does throw up a particular area of concern with regard to the value of material sales flowing back to the local authorities, and I would urge our members to look closely at their current arrangements with MRF operators. Local circumstances will still be a major factor in collection scheme decisions and so this should not be taken as showing that one system is better than another.

The Campaign for Real Recycling also welcomed the report, and spokesman Andy Doran of Novelis Recycling said: The whole concept behind the campaign is to have the full life cycle facts of recycling out in the open. This research, which we have lobbied hard for, is a welcome piece of the jigsaw. 

There are some key findings within the research that suggest that there are systemic differences in costs and that in current market conditions kerbside sort schemes show lower costs net of income from material sales than commingled schemes.

Image: LARAC chairman Lee Marshall

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