Defra has given its strongest support to date for kerbside sorting as its preferred option for household recycling collection in a consultation document published last week on draft regulations to implement the revised EU Waste Framework Directive in England and Wales.
In the document, which has been jointly published with the Welsh Assembly Government, the department confirms its position on the Directive’s requirement for separate collections of materials to be introduced by 2015. This is that both kerbside sorting and commingled collection followed by sorting at a MRF count as ‘separate’.
Under the Directive, which must be transposed into UK law by December 12 2010, member states must set up separate collections of “at least” paper, plastic, glass and metal by 2015, as well as taking measures to ensure “high quality recycling”. But Defra and WAG qualify their position by stating that: “Defra/WAG support and endorse WRAP’s assessment that kerbside sort should be preferred where this is practicable; and where this is not, two streams commingled collections are preferable over single-stream collections.”
There are concerns amongst Councils and the Industry that the implementation of the Directive will mean that Councils will have to review their domestic collections of recyclable materials and potentially have to change these to kerbside sorted collections by 2015