Operators of municipal waste incinerators are calling for glass from the bottom of the incinerators, known as “bottom ash” to count towards recycling figures. At present this is classed as an aggregate material and processed accordingly but does not constitute as packaging evidence.
If successful, such a move could have a big impact on packaging waste recycling levels, even helping the UK avoid breaching EU targets, as well as opening the door for local authorities to count the material towards their recycling figures.
This approach has been made by waste management firms to the Environment Agency. A spokeswoman for the Agency said: “Several operators have made enquiries on the possibility of the processing of IBA into IBAA [incinerator bottom ash aggregate] qualifying as an accreditable process for issuing PRNs. We are currently reviewing our position on this.”
Any rule change would be particularly significant this year because some packaging waste compliance schemes are believed to be short of packaging waste recovery notes (PRNs) for glass and may not have enough at the end of the year to meet their obligations.
(Editors note: The latest position is that the EA are not going to accept a change, despite the current problem with meeting this year’s glass packaging targets).