A recyclate collection hierarchy revealing what reprocessors consider the best and worst systems for producing quality has been launched by the Campaign for Real Recycling (CRR).
To create the hierarchy CRR ranked the most commonly used collection systems according to reprocessors and stakeholders experiences of materials delivered to their gates.
Multi-stream kerbside source separated came out on top of the hierarchy, with triple separated stream for paper and card, metal and plastic containers, and glass containers ranked second.
Third down is a twin stream collection with paper and card together or cans, plastic bottles, Tetra Paks and glass together.
Commingled collections followed the top three preferences, starting with commingled without glass in fourth position, then commingled with glass, and finally commingled with residual waste (black bags).
CRR coordinator Andy Moore said: We are not saying you can use sources separated everywhere, because of high rise flats. But with this hierarchy, local authorities can operate collections which meet quality criteria. We know they can do it at a reasonable cost because of the recent Waste & Resources Action Programme report on costs and performance.
The hierarchy specifically focuses on doorstep collections but not bring sites because such sites have consistently provided very good quality.
Textiles and kitchen waste collections are not included in the hierarchy because CRR recommends they are both collected separately. Moore said kitchen waste needs to be collected because as you unlock further dry recyclables by taking out contaminates, the residual waste gets smellier. Then you have to address kitchen waste.
Textiles are different because the material is not always recycled, it is also reused. This makes the material value particularly sensitive to contamination, he added.