The IWM study does not provide any cost data because of concerns that it might set a benchmark for the UK. However, Jonathan Eyre, chairman of the institute’s MRF working group said that planners and operators “should ensure that recycling efficiencies are increased at every stage, from the households recycling container through to the delivery at the reprocessor’s gate and that the full costs are included.”
The point is reiterated in the executive summary which says that every effort should be made to ensure a high quality collection system is integrated to maximise the efficiency of the MRF.
The study covers a range of issues surrounding MRFs including legislation, design and operation, health and safety and the markets for materials.
It found that experience has show that cleaner MRFs are likely to be preferable for reasons of health and safety, as well as a more efficient materials handling stream and to avoid contamination of recycables.
Copies of the booklet, Materials Recovery Facilities, are available from the IWM tel: 01604 620426, price 15 plus 1 postage.
For a summary and review of the report by letsrecycle.com see: MRF feature.