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Quality is the key to improving UK;s recycling infrastructure, says WRAP

Quality recyclable materials should be the driving force behind investment in and improvement of the recycling infrastructure in the UK, according to the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP). If clear glass is requested by recycling facilities, then green glass should not be entering the sorting process, it says. Chief executive Liz Goodwin said: Increasing pressure is being placed on the UKs existing recycling infrastructure. The new Waste Strategy has just set even higher waste reduction and recovery rate targets, and there needs to be a step change in the separation and recovery process if the UK is going to meet these challenges. It is important that we work in partnership with others at every stage of the recycling process to help the industry meet the anticipated demand for higher quality materials in an economically viable way. Quality is the linchpin on which the economic viability of recycling turns. WRAP has identified the growing role of material recycling facilities (MRFs) in recovering materials from the waste stream and is commissioning a project that aims to review the technologies and processes currently employed in this area, as well as identifying best practice. The project follows findings in its research report Recovering Value from MRFs, which was published in January this year. According to project manager Gerrard Fisher: MRFs are one of the ways in which the UK recovers materials from its waste stream, and this sector is growing. We want to better understand existing practices and then identity cost-effective technologies and techniques so that we can build up a knowledge base that the industry can use for making sound commercial decisions. We want to equip the industry with the knowledge it requires to make the right choices about types of collection systems, measurement and management techniques and appropriate automation so that UK MRFs can meet future domestic and international market requirements for higher quality recovered materials.

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