Contaminated waste being sent to Scotland’s material recovery facilities (MRFs) is hindering the recovery of quality material, according to a report published in previous weeks by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency. 
The report is one of the first of its kind to be published by the regulator on the quality of waste coming into and leaving material recovery facilities and examines data from several MRFs that met the reporting criteria, covering the period of October 2015 to May 2017.

The data presented showed that of the 327,760 tonnes of Scotland’s recyclable waste that was received, the contamination rate ranged from 0.91% to 43.04% – a national average figure of 17%. However, SEPA noted that this figure does not include waste that was so badly contaminated it does not make it to the recycling facility and instead is sent to energy from waste facilities or landfill.

Furthermore SEPA addressed that the quality and quantity of the waste sent for recovery is ‘critical’ to ensuring that maximum value is derived from the resources circulating in the economy – as well as building economic benefits to Scotland.



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