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Materials Recycling Facility open day promotes commingled

Curious local authority officials enjoyed a warm welcome at Milton Keynes materials recycling facility (MRF) open day.

Directors from Community Waste, which runs the site, showed visiters around and explained the benefits of commingled collections.

Community Waste director Richard Cutts explained the MRFs technology and showed visitors how accurately it separates its products. The facility is only a year old as the previous building on the site burnt down in April 2005, with the bag splitter the only machine to survive.

One modern addition, a Titec sorter, shines light onto the conveyer belt to identify different types of plastic. It then blows the plastics into the right containers. Cutts added: Every Titec machine replaces two workers.

The day also included a presentation from MRF expert Bob Graham from Entec Consulting. Graham said: [Collection] tonnages are rising, so processing capacity is needed.

This could mean more MRFs. The Milton Keynes MRF has a 20 tonnes an hour capacity and takes paper, plastic, metal cans, and pre-separated glass.

At present the facility does not handle commingled glass. But, Cutts added, they will eventually have the technology to deal with it.

To promote quality Cutts is also working with Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to specify a recycled paper grade so that price is pegged to that as opposed to where the product came from or how it was collected.

A selection of council officials attended including those from Buckingham County Council, Hertfordshire County Council, Cheltenham Borough Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

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