Natural resources minister Carl Sargeant has said he wants to see better prices for higher quality recycled material following the publication of statutory guidance on separate collections in Wales.
Under EU law coming into effect on 1 January 2015, waste firms and local authorities will be required to collect waste paper, metal, plastic and glass separately unless a commingled collection can be demonstrated to be as effective.
Commingled collections will also be allowed if source segregation isn’t technically, environmentally or economically practicable (TEEP).
The Welsh Government’s ‘Statutory guidance on the separate collection of waste paper, metal, plastic and glass’ said commingling dry recyclates such as metal and plastic “may be possible” using available separation technology.
In contrast, it warned mixing wet waste streams, like biowaste, with dry streams such as paper would be unlikely to produce recyclate of sufficient quality.
Source: Welsh Assembly Government
Sargeant, left, said: “I want it to be as simple as possible for everyone in Wales to recycle the four materials to a high quality, so we can continue to improve our recycling rates and continue to lead the way with the highest recycling rates in the UK.
“This guidance aims to support organisations that collect materials for recycling by focusing on high-quality materials, because these will obtain a better price on the market.
“Growing Wales’ market for recycled materials can only benefit Welsh companies. This is why our overarching strategy, Towards Zero Waste, lays out a policy of separate collection for recyclable waste.”
The Environment Agency has yet to issue advice on separate collections in England and how it will enforce the EU rules, after announcing in September it was meeting with industry representatives to finalise proposals.