10 September 2019 by Steve Eminton

WRAP and CPI warn over costs of commingling paper

A WRAP-backed campaign urging councils to end the collection of paper as a commingled material was relaunched yesterday (10 September)  with the claim that commingling costs local authorities “as much as £500,000” a year.

As part of the Our Paper campaign, which has faced delays and a lack of interest from local authorities, WRAP and the Confederation of Paper Industries have launched a second website to promote the campaign and restarted tweets about the importance of collecting paper separately (see letsrecycle.com story).

The new website advises local authorities that paper and card account for around 50% of recycling collected from UK homes and estimates suggest that the extra sorting for commingled stream collections, and dealing with contamination “could increase cost to local authorites [sic] carrying our [sic] comingled collections by as much as £500,000 a year”.

“That’s no trifling amount for cash-strapped councils in Britain today,” warn WRAP and the CPI. “Worse, this material could end up as waste if it does not meet quality requirements for re-processing.”

Kerbside sorting

“That’s no trifling amount for cash-strapped councils in Britain today,” – WRAP and the CPI

Our Paper also reports that WRAP, as part of its strategy for improving the consistency of recycling collections,  found that more kerbside sorting for materials could save local authorities as much as £400m over eight years. It would also inject up to £478m-worth of dry recyclables back into the economy and boost the UK’s recycling rate by up to seven percentage points.

And, Our Paper says that related research in Wales found that “fibre separate collections would also generate much lower post-collection sorting costs than other methods and a higher income from materials. Any set up costs for separated collections would be returned in less than two years.

“So by improving the quality and quantity of paper and card they collect, local authorities can tap into new markets for the material, boost their own income in the process, give better value to local taxpayers, and protect the environment. Everybody stands to win.”

More information
More details are available at www.ourpaper.org.uk (the previous Our Paper campaign was based at www.ourpaper.org).

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