The wide world of recycling

The wide world of recycling

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Across the Eastern pond, a government agency is taking steps to improve the quality of recycled material, and a North African nation is getting a big investment to help it increase recycling.

Hoping to boost the market for post-consumer materials, the U.K.'s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs is working on plans to improve the quality of recycled paper, cardboard, metals, plastic and glass by establishing a new code of practice for recycling facilities.

The proposal will require all materials recovery facilities of certain sizes to measure the quality of their input and outputs. The results would then be made available to businesses that buy recycled material as well as to local authorities and other entities that supply materials to the MRFs.

"The recycling industry contributes [annually] around 3 billion pounds sterling [$4.5 billion] to our economy," said Resource Management Minister Lord de Mauley in a statement. "Having sufficient quantity of recyclable material is of course important for the markets. The quality of that material is equally important but often overlooked. I want that to change. While some MRFs already provide quality material, I want to see this happening more consistently across the industry."

The quality of recycled materials is becoming an increasingly prominent issue in Britain, with Scotland already considering a similar measure. Earlier this month, the MailOnline published an article that found that millions of tons of recovered material are sent to landfill and that recycling rates in the U.K. are likely exaggerated.

The Packaging and Film Association has welcomed the move to increase quality of recyclables.

"The Minister and his team are to be congratulated on recognizing that it is not just the quantity of materials in the recycling stream that is important but equally critical is the quality of material which, at best, has so far been variable," said Barry Turner, chief executive of the association, in a prepared statement.

The World Bank has approved a $130 million loan to Morocco to help the North African nation improve its solid waste and recycling sectors, while also creating an anticipated 70,000 jobs. The loan includes mechanisms to gain citizen feedback on services provided by the loan and bring transparency to how contracts are awarded.

The growth of waste in Morocco is putting significant environmental strains on the country, and the loan will be used to improve waste management, specifically at the municipal level. Morocco has a goal of recycling 20 percent of its waste by 2022 while ensuring that all municipal solid waste is collected and disposed in sanitary landfills.

SEC March Banner

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here.