Input and output tonnages at materials recycling facilities (MRFs) across England and Wales have been published for the first time by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP).
The data, which covers the months October to December 2014, is the first set published under new sampling and reporting obligations for MRF operators receiving more than 1,000 tonnes of mixed waste each year.
First launched in February 2013, the MRF Code of Practice obligations aim to bring ‘more transparency’ to the sorting and recycling of household waste in England and Wales.
However, WRAP has warned that users should ‘observe caution’ when attempting to draw conclusions from the data, as the initial figures suggest ‘some inconsistency’ in reporting which the regulators are still resolving.
The data offers an insight into the quality of materials received at the MRFs and their output, with WRAP suggesting the market will be able to obtain a ‘greater understanding’ of recycling quality.
WRAP states: “Data quality is expected to improve over the coming quarters as interpretation of the requirements and measurement methods are refined. In addition, The Regulator has now begun their programme of enforcement inspections of each site, which should also help with improving the quality and consistency of sampling and data provided.”
In total, 90 MRFs in England notified the Environment Agency in accordance with the regulations, with 86 submitting a data return for the fourth quarter of 2014. In Wales, nine MRFs notified Natural Resources Wales and eight submitted data.