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Sepa drive to ensure greater MRF sampling compliance

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) is taking extra measures to ensure all MRF operators comply with their new code of practice guidance, following concerns about a lack of compliance in England.

MRW exclusive

The latest data on a similar sampling regime for MRF operators in England and Wales, released by WRAP, showed a slight fall in the number of English facilities reporting.

When the data from the previous quarter was released, most observers had anticipated that several dozen more would have notified the Environment Agency (EA) of their need to comply. The MRW handbook indicates around 140-150 should qualify for the reporting regime.

Now Sepa’s principal policy officer, Gary Walker has 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 for Scotland.

“We recognise there will be an ongoing task to ensure that operators that are currently in scope come forward.

“To help us with this, an assessment process is being developed which will help to identify any non-compliant operators who fail to provide the information required.”

WRAP’s lastest data, for Q1 2015, showed 87 English MRFs had notified the Environment Agency (EA), down from 90 the previous quarter, with all but two submitting their returns.

Ray Georgeson, chief executive of the Resource Association, said at the time there was “a continuing concern” about the low levels of compliance in terms of data submission.

At RWM, Sepa launched its guidance for MRF operators, jointly with Zero Waste Scotland, to help them conform to the upcoming legislation in Scotland.

The code is intended to help drive up the quality of materials entering the market. It applies to facilities that expect to receive 1,000 tonnes or more a year of mixed dry recyclable materials (comprising two or more materials) or separately collected dry recyclable waste for sorting.

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