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Materials sectors welcome proposed landfill restrictions

Textile and wood recycling associations have both welcomed Government moves to consult on restricting wood and other materials to landfill, as announced in the review of waste policy.

A spokesman from the Wood Recyclers Association told MRW that the move was a “no-brainer”.

He said: “If you look at the last waste wood markets report updated by WRAP, there’s still an awful lot of wood going to landfill, clearly there’s a lot of waste wood not heavily contaminated still going to landfill, which ought to be recycled.

“Basically our response to the review is that we’re very pleased they’re going to consult as early as next year and the industry is in a position to cope with the additional tonnage. It’s not working at 100% capacity, so there’s no issue for the wood recycling sector.”

Textile Recycling Association (TRA) National Liaison Manager Alan Wheeler indicated that the previous consultation on landfill restrictions received “strong support” from TRA members.

He added: “However, our members highlighted that it would be impractical to make a differentiation between bio-degradable and non-biodegradable textiles.  This was communicated to the labour Government at the time and subsequently to the coalition Government during the waste policy review. It seems as though they have taken this information on board.”
However, British Metals Recycling Association director general Ian Hetherington told MRW: “We want to see an increase in the collection rates for all metals and support reasonable steps to increase those rates, but we have to be convinced that a landfill restriction is going to have any impact at all on collections. The actual volumes of metal going to landfill now are very small, in terms of tonnage.”

SCA recycling business development director Simon Barnes told MRW: “It [the review] didn’t come out with any earth-shattering thoughts. In terms of direction, SCA is supportive of that. Reiterating this longer term perspective and the need for quality fits really well with what we want.”

Barnes also welcomed the voluntary responsibility deal for paper, he added: “I think that would be useful and understanding some of the complexities of paper particularly in the context of packaging. We have our own MRF operation, because we are appreciating that our business model is changing from a pre to a post consumer business model and in future we need to get quality fibre out of MRFs, so ensuring they operate to high standards is a concern to us.”

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