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EA acts on low engagement in England's MRF sampling regime

The Environment Agency (EA) is taking steps to boost the number of recycling facilities in England currently registered under its new sampling regime.

Two sets of quarterly data have been released by WRAP on behalf of the EA and Natural Resources Wales, covering sampling for the final quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015.

For Q4 2014, 90 MRFs notified the EA in accordance with the regulations. For Q1 2015, WRAP says 87 English MRFs had registered.

Most observers had anticipated that several dozen more would have done so. For example, the MRW Handbook lists around 150 MRFs which appear to fit the criteria for notification, based on scale and types of materials processed.

There is a legal requirement on the operators of qualifying facilities to notify.

After the latest figures were released, Ray Georgeson, chief executive of the Resource Association, said there was continuing concern about low levels of compliance.

“The failure of a significant part of the industry to move into compliance runs the risk of seriously undermining the value of the regulations, even at this early stage. Urgent action is needed by the regulators to address this,” he said.

Now MRW understands the the EA is looking to increase participation in the sampling reporting requirements of Schedule 9a of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2014.

The Environmental Services Association and Chartered Institution of Wastes Management will be asked to help reach the widest possible audience in the industry and raise awareness of the requirements.

Following the latest set of data, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) told MRW it was taking extra measures to ensure all MRF operators comply with Scotland’s new code of practice.

Sepa said it has “proactively contacted MRF operators to discuss whether or not the new sampling and reporting requirements apply to their activities” ahead of the agency’s own scheme being launched.

Readers' comments (1)

  • DO WE REALLY NEED ANY MORE RED TAPE AND LEGISLATION.
    EACH MRF OPERATOR IS RESPONSEABLE FOR THE QUAILTY OF THE RECYCLATE IT PRODUCES.
    AND THIS ALSO REFLECTS ON THE PRICE THEY RECEIVE.
    SO WHY DO WE NEED TO PAY THE EA
    TO SAMPLE OUR MATERIAL .

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