The latest data from the MRF sampling scheme in England and Wales indicates that contamination has been maintained at a low level.
WRAP says that reporting for the third quarter of 2016 shows a 12.9% contamination level for material entering English MRFs while Wales reduced its rejected material level to 11.1%, the lowest since the first reporting period in Q4 2014.
The English rate for Q2 2016 of 12.8% was the lowest to date. The Welsh total of 12.4%, on the other hand, was the highest since reporting began.
Some 89 MRFs in England notified the Environment Agency (EA) for the Q3 2016 period, one fewer than for the previous quarter, with 87 of these submitting data.
In Wales, 12 MRFs registered and all submitted data, as in the previous quarter, although one did not supply sampling data.
The total tonnage of material leaving English MRFs in Q3 was 626,111 tonnes, the lowest since the Q4 2015 and a decrease of 29,340 tonnes compared with the previous quarter.
In Wales, material leaving MRFs rose from 55,466 tonnes to 57,236 tonnes in the latest quarter.
The highest contamination rate in output streams was for plastic in England at 9.5%, overtaking glass which had been highest the previous period.
For Wales, glass still had the highest contamination rate at 11.5%, although this is down from 14.9% in the previous quarter.
In its report, WRAP plays down the change in different materials’ contamination levels, saying: “There is very little change for any of the materials. The variability across samples as indicated by the inter-quartile range is lowest for paper and highest for plastic, which is the same as the previous two quarters.”
Data for October-December 2016 is expected in May.