The Waste (Recyclate Quality) (Scotland) Regulations 2015 were laid in Parliament last week, and a “Code of Practice on Sampling and Reporting at Materials Recovery Facilities” was published.
The Code requires the operators of material recovery facilities to weigh and sample materials received at the facility and leaving the facility, and identify the composition of the samples with regard to the type of material contained within.
It sets out an approach to sampling, including weight, frequency, reporting periods, measurement and materials to be sampled, and the information to be recorded and reported to SEPA.
The Code also contains a requirement to record and report to SEPA information about the end destination for the material (or where that is not available, the next destination), and the use to which the material is to be put.
“It is hoped that clarity and certainty around the quality of recycled materials placed on the market will help create the confidence needed to invest in the expansion of Scotland’s reprocessing sector, a sector that will become increasingly important as the drive toward a more efficient use of resources and more sustainable product use and design continues.”
The information collected by SEPA through the requirements of the Code will support future policy consideration of measures to further improve recyclate quality.
The Code clarifies that information on end and next destination reporting will be treated as commercial in confidence.
The guidance states: “It is hoped that clarity and certainty around the quality of recycled materials placed on the market will help create the confidence needed to invest in the expansion of Scotland’s reprocessing sector, a sector that will become increasingly important as the drive toward a more efficient use of resources and more sustainable product use and design continues.”
MRF licence or permit holders that fall within the scope of the Code must report the results of material sampling to SEPA every 3 months in a format prescribed by SEPA.
Under the Code the first reporting period will start on 1st October 2015, and testing should commence from this date. In any year, there will be four reporting periods.
Reports must be submitted to SEPA electronically within one month of the end of the reporting period as set out below:
- 1st April to 30th June with reports to SEPA due by 31st July.
- 1st July to 30th September with reports to SEPA due by 31st October.
- 1st October to 31st December with reports to SEPA due by 31st January.
- 1st January to 31st March with reports to SEPA due by 30th April.
The requirement applies to operators of facilities handling 1,000 tonnes or more of mixed dry recyclable waste each year.
Until October 2016, one sample must be taken for every 160 tonnes of mixed dry recyclable waste or separately collected dry recyclable waste received at the MRF from each supplier. After October 1 2016, this will change to every 125 tonnes.
The guidance also states that the average weight per sample must be 60 kilograms or more. A sample may be collected in several parts, contemporaneously, none of which may weigh less than 20 kg.
It’s hoped the benefits of this Code of Practice will be:
- Improvement of transparency on material quality in the supply chain, through provision of accurate information on contamination levels, and variances in these levels, to the market and to customers
- Provision of information to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the Waste Framework Directive to deliver high quality recycling
- The creation of conditions to improve the contracting environment, for MRF licence or permit holders and for all businesses involved in the material supply chain
- The creation of a regime that encourages innovation in the operation of MRFs and supply chain dynamics
- Enabling SEPA to ensure consistency of approach and practice in MRF material sampling and quality control, irrespective of the technology available to the MRF licence or permit holder.