Zero Waste Scotland launches new funding scheme to improve recycling quality

Zero Waste Scotland has unveiled a new £90,000 capital grant fund for materials recovery facility (MRF) operators to purchase standardised testing equipment enabling them to effectively test, monitor and record their material quality.

The funding comes ahead of the Scottish Government’s MRF Code of Practice which will be introduced in 2015 and will aim to improve the quality of materials processed through qualifying facilities by developing standardised testing processes and reporting mechanisms for all input materials.

The funding is open to any MRF located in Scotland and processing at least 1,000 tonnes of dry mixed recyclables a year.

Zero Waste Scotland chief executive Iain Gulland said: “I’m delighted to announce this new funding which will provide MRF operators with the financial assistance to allow them to introduce quality testing infrastructure to meet the future requirements of the MRF Code of Practice.

“In addition to this funding, we are looking at the possibility of offering training on improved quality testing and data reporting processes to support the introduction of the Code of Practice.

“By improving the quality of materials entering the market, we’re keeping them in a high value state for as long as possible, helping to contribute to the development of a circular economy – where resources flow in a cycle of re-use rather than being wasted.”

Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis. The deadline for applying is 15 December.

New data

The news comes as the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) unveiled new data on waste generated and managed in Scotland during 2012.

The data shows a trend towards significantly less waste being generated and sent to landfill in Scotland. Since 2007, Scotland has observed a 39% reduction in waste being sent to landfill. SEPA states that this is at an “all-time low of 4,493,924 tonnes”.

SEPA has also published information on waste collected from all sources, such as commercial enterprises, the construction industry and households, including detailed information on waste generated and recycled.

Publicly available on the Scotland’s Environment website, the data is presented for the first time through the new interactive Waste Discover Data tool.

According to SEPA, the tool allows users to analyse and display data in greater detail, while filters are available to isolate key information by waste management method, origin, hazard, location and specific waste material.

SEPA data unit manager Jim Pritchard said: “The breadth of information which has been made available as part of the 2012 figures is very pleasing and I fully expect it to become a useful tool for individual businesses and the wider waste industry, as a key indicator for meeting the targets set by the Scottish Government’s Zero Waste Plan.”

Liz Gyekye

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