The Environment Agency (EA) is planning to consult on a charging regime for auditing MRFs in mid-March.
The introduction of fees will allow the EA to recover the costs of enforcing the MRF code of practice, set to come into force in October 2014.
The consultation is likely to be launched in a month, a spokesperson for the EA told MRW.
The EA will inspect MRFs that handle more than 1,000 tonnes of recyclate twice a year, with one announced and one unannounced visit, plus additional compliance checks if material quality is considered poor.
There are 167 such facilities across England and Wales, according to the final impact assessment of the MRF code published alongside regulations (file right).
Defra estimates that inspections will costs the EA around £1,800 per site per year, for a total of over £314,600 a year for all MRFs.
“This includes staff time for site visits, technical advice, planning and analysis of data, legal costs, administration costs, and financing costs,” Defra said.
The department added an inspection would require around three hours of “technical operator time”.
The costs will be passed on to businesses with the charging regime.
Following the implementation of the code of practice, Defra expects the MRF sector to incur total costs of £800,000 per year, including agencies’ fees, equipment, sampling and administration.