Sunday, 11 June 2017

Trying to improve the quality of recycled waste

We've got a problem with our waste:
Futures Forum: UN Ocean Conference >>> a 'game-changer' in cutting plastic pollution

And local authorities are trying to do their bit:
Futures Forum: Recycling and refuse in East Devon >>> collecting more to recycle more >>> from Monday 12th June

Is it enough, though?

Five years ago, the Chinese were sending us back our plastic waste:
China refuses to recycle Britain's rubbish because it is of such poor quality | Daily Mail Online

And they are further upping their game:
China ‘could stop importing plastic scrap’ | News | Materials Recycling World

Because, the quality of recycled waste is not getting much better here:
Rejected recyclable waste up 84% in England since 2011, data shows - BBC News

Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of recycling is being diverted to landfill

Laura Hughes 23 AUGUST 2016 • 11:17 AM

Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of recycling carefully separated by families is being diverted to landfill, according to official figures. Councils said they were unable to recycle 338,000 tonnes of waste last year because it was contaminated, a rise of 84 per cent over the past four years.

The cost of re-sorting so-called contaminated recycle bins is understood to be the main reason waste is being rejected and councils say they are working to stop people putting the wrong items in bins.

Earlier this year the former environment minister Rory Stuart said it was"absurd" that Britain has so many different recycling systems.

Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of recycling  is being diverted to landfill

What a waste! 340,000 tons of recycling is sent to landfill because we're too CONFUSED about the rules


2 November 2016

Household waste burned or buried has increased by 84 per cent
In some areas 15% of bins are 'contaminated' with non-recyclable items
A FOI request found councils rejected 338,000 tons of waste in 2014/15
There have been calls for one harmonised system for around the country

340,000 tons of recycling sent to landfill because of confusion about rules | Daily Mail Online

One question, then, is whether East Devon residents will be 'confused' with the new system:
British consumers admit confusion over recycling | Environment | The Guardian

Because how things are recycled here is different to how it happens elsewhere:
OPINION: Inconsistency at Heart of Rise in Rejected Recycling Materials « Recycling « Waste Management World

Another question is how the District Council can both reach recycling targets and save money:
The need for smart waste collection - LocalGov.co.uk - Your authority on UK local government

Finally, it's all about producing 'quality' waste:
Rejected recycling figure leads to calls for quality recycling | Resource Magazine

England continues to fall behind UK nations in recycling performance

30 August 2016, source edie newsroom

England has fallen to the bottom of an index that ranks home nations on carbon reductions from recycling, after Northern Irish councils displayed a 4.5% increase in CO2 emission reductions in 2014/15.

Eunomia’s director Joe Papineschi said: “Progressive waste management policies, devolved Governments and new collection systems are having a positive impact on the CO2 performance of recycling systems. Amidst some mixed results, there are some really outstanding stories. For example, councils collected 8% more food waste last year than in 2013/14 – despite only 37% offering separate food collections.”

Carbon Index

For 2014/15, 47% of English authorities improved their Recycling Carbon Index performance when compared to 2013/14 - down from 64% in the previous year. Despite these poor figures, England still reportedly has the leading carbon saving council, in Cheshire West and Chester.

Overall capture of key recyclable materials increased by 2.4% per head of population across England, Wales and Northern Ireland over the last year. According to Eunomia, paper collection continues to show a decline, in part reflecting the move towards electronic communication. Card continues to increase however, driven by the move to renewable packaging and the growth in internet sales.

The report highlights that separately collected food waste accounts for the largest increase, as more authorities roll out services and public acceptance begins to increase. Small increases in both plastic and metals allegedly demonstrates a slow but continued benefit from the focus on these high value (in carbon and monetary terms) materials.

Long-term strategy

The latest Recycling Carbon Index figures highlight a growing trend of fellow home nation countries overtaking England in terms of waste performance. While recent reports have shown that Wales and Scotland continue to succeed in improving waste strategy, England’s recycling rates have slowed significantly over the past three years.

Last week, the waste and resource management industry called for a long-term, coherent regulatory framework to increase recycling and re-use rates in England after a Freedom of Information (FoI) request revealed that the quantity of rejected recyclable waste has increased by 84% over the past four years.

Charity Keep Britain Tidy (KBT) recently claimed that England should “hang its head in shame” over its lack of progress on recycling, having failed to increase a 44% recycling rate over the last two years, remaining well below the UK’s 50% target.

England continues to fall behind UK nations in recycling performance

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