A guidance document for Material Recovery Facility (MRF) operators on how to take and test samples as mandated by new regulations has been published by WRAP.
The aim of the guidance (file right) is to ensure that the sampling of materials and testing of their composition is carried out to a consistent minimum standard using recognised and accepted procedures, said WRAP.
It is intended to complement the MRF Code of Practice, which was laid before parliament in February and will come into effect in October.
The sampling guidance contains step-by-step advice on how to obtain representative samples of incoming mixed waste and output materials.
It then explains how the samples can be tested to provide the Environment Agency with the statistical information mandated in the MRF code.
It also gives tips on how to present data and calculate mean and standard deviation.
Defra had previously published a reminder of sampling requirements, but the industry had lamented lack of specific indications on an acceptable methodology for testing MRF materials.
The Environmental Services Association (ESA) contributed to the drafting of the latest guidance in collaboration with WRAP.
ESA director general Barry Dennis said it should help MRF operators across the industry to properly implement the MRF code and make sure that representative samples are taken as part of their quality management systems.
“This is, however, just the beginning, and we will continue to work with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that the MRF regulations help boost confidence in recycling quality within the supply chain,” he added.