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MRF Quality Sampling to Begin in Scotland in October 2015

Monday, March 30, 2015

From 1st October 2015 operators of material recovery facilities in Scotland who annually handle more than 1,000 tonnes of mixed dry recyclable waste will have to report on the quality of the recyclable materials they receive and sort.

These requirements are being introduced through the Waste (Recyclate Quality) (Scotland) Regulations 2015, which were laid before Parliament in early March, and a Government ‘Code of Practice on Sampling and Reporting at Materials Recovery Facilities’.

The Regulations require all operators of Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) to weigh and sample materials arriving and leaving their facilities and to identify the composition of the samples with regards to material type. 

The Code of Practice sets out an approach to this sampling, including guidance on the sampling weights, frequency, reporting periods, measurement and materials to be sampled, and the information that must be recorded and reported to SEPA (Scottish Environmental Protection Agency).

The Code also contains a requirement to record and report to SEPA information about the end destination, or next destination, for the material and the use to which the material is to be put.

This information will be collected and used by SEPA to support future policy considerations and help explore potential measures that could be introduced to improve recyclate quality, as well as driving investment in the expansion of Scotland’s reprocessing sector. 

MRF licence and permit holders that fall within the scope of the Code must report the results of material sampling to SEPA every 3 months, with the first reporting period starting on the 1st October 2015.

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 1st October 2016, this will change to every 125 tonnes.  The guidance also states that the average weight per sample must be 60 kilograms or more.

The full Code of Practice can be accessed here

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