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Reprocessors issue guide on material quality specifications

The Resource Association has published the first part of a project aimed at helping local authorities apply the requirements for separate collections from January.

ReQIP (Recycling Quality Information Point) is a reader-friendly document which indicates the reprocessors’ view on acceptable contamination levels for the main recyclable materials, paper, glass, plastics and metals, and others such as green and wood wastes, batteries, textiles and beverage cartons.

In the next phase of the project, which will be published “in the coming weeks”, the Resource Association will indicate reprocessors’ views on the impact on value of mixing certain materials in collection schemes.

The guide is intended to provide a reference point for understanding reprocessors’ recyclate quality requirements in light of the implementation of the EU directive that from 2015 mandates the separate collection of materials unless it is not Technically, Environmentally and Economically Practicable  (TEEP) to do so.

The Resource Association said the project was launched in response to a call from resource minister Dan Rogerson for industry to provide advice to local authorities, and no guidance from Defra.

“We understand the position that many in local authorities feel they have been left in as a result of the lack of formal guidance from Defra on TEEP, but we have responded positively to the challenge from Dan Rogerson for industry to step forward,” said Resource Association chief executive Ray Georgeson.

“We have provided a comprehensive and accessible summary of what UK reprocessors consider to be ‘high quality recycling’ in relation to their feedstock requirements and specifications.”

Resource Association chairman Jonathan Short said: “If councils can use the information in the ReQIP project with their collection contractors and Material Recycling Facilities operators then together we can strive for legally compliant collection systems that genuinely meet the quality needs of the recycling industries - for everyone’s benefit.”

The Resource Association says the tool can be used in combination with the Waste Regulations Route Map published in April by the London Waste and recycling board and WRAP.

The ReQIP project has been coordinated by Peter Mansfield & Associates Ltd, which collected information from 36 reprocessor companies.

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