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Introduction by Chair. Linda Crichton Head of Resource Management. Agenda. WRAP MRF Seminar 11 March 2014 Cardiff City Stadium. Materials Recovery Facility Regulation. Dr Andy Rees Head of Waste Strategy Waste & Resource Efficiency Division,

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Introduction by Chair

Linda Crichton

Head of Resource Management


WRAP MRF Seminar

11 March 2014

Cardiff City Stadium.

Materials Recovery Facility Regulation

Dr Andy Rees

Head of Waste Strategy

Waste & Resource Efficiency Division,

Department for Natural Resources and Food

Welsh Government



This is a new Regulation, applying to Material Recovery Facilities which will provide a framework for improving the transparency of data on the sampling process/quality of recyclable material sent to Material Recovery Facilities and the quality of the material outputs of those facilities.


Why are these Regulations important?

  • Ground-breaking - first set of regulations in place to improve transparency and information about quality of recyclable material sent to and outputs of material produced by Material Recycling Facilities
  • The Regulations will provide transparency of information on quality available to the wider industry
  • Will help the recyclate market operate better and deliver high quality recycling
  • Information provided on quality of recyclate by MRFs may be able to be used to help demonstrate compliance with separate collection requirements of revised Waste Framework Directive (as long as quantity and quality are equivalent to kerbside sort).

Where did it all begin?

  • The Environmental Services Association started the ball rolling with heir own (voluntary) accreditation scheme (Code of Practice);
  • Then there were extensive discussions with industry on:
  • Considering ways to try and help stimulate the market conditions necessary to improve
  • Promote the quality of material produced by MRFs
  • Growing the recycling materials market.
  • All parts of the recyclate chain have taken a keen interest in this area and regulation development – as have Ministers and several DEFRA and Welsh Government Departments.


  • Joint consultation responses published on 1 February 2013.
  • Total of 88 responses;
  • Local Authorities 42
  • Waste Management Co 11
  • Reprocessors/Manufacturers 23
  • Other prof/rep/trade bodies 4
  • Other (consultancies, interest groups, campaign bodies 8

Key issues arising from the consultation

  • Preference for Environment Agency / Natural Resources Wales carrying out inspections and compliance checks, over having a third (independent) party audit doing so;
  • Most respondents wanted sampling regime strengthening from initial proposals;
  • Calls to drop proposal for requirement to sample residual waste streams, predominantly on health and safety grounds;
  • Looking for a balance between robust sampling regime and operational/economic pragmatism.


Regulations laid before Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales on 11 February 2014

They have been through various HoC scrutiny committees.

Became applicable on 5 March 2014

MRF element (Schedule 9A) applies from 1 October 2014



Inspections will be carried out by

  • England
  • Wales


  • Regulations are substantial and positive step:
  • Provide transparency for all on the quality of incoming feedstock – from each supplier (enables contamination to be tackled at source)
  • Provides accurate reporting of contamination rates in material outputs and levels of non-target and non-recyclable material (rejects) – to ensure that the true level of recycling is accurately reported (Question 100).
  • Will allow comparisons with the quality of materials obtained by separate collection
  • Will allow local authorities and waste management companies to demonstrate whether or not co-mingling is capable of delivering high quality recycling.

Thank you for listening

Any queries / comments to:


Key Requirements of the Regulations

Sarah Bonwick

Waste Strategy Advisor (Municipal)

Waste & Resource Efficiency Division,

Department for Natural Resources and Food

Welsh Government


Schedule 9A Materials Facilities

Key requirements of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2014

New Schedule 9A Materials Facilities


Schedule 9A Materials Facilities

There are 2 parts to Schedule 9A;

Part 1 - Introductory provisions, conditions and functions

Assessment and notification


Specification of conditions and environmental permits

Part 2 - Measurement and reporting requirements for materials facilities

Input material

Output material


Reports to the regulator


Schedule 9A Materials Facilities

Part 1

  • Part 1 paragraph 1 - Assessment and notification
  • Operators are required to carry out an assessment and are required to notify the Regulator of the amount of mixed waste they expect to receive at their facility during the period of 12 months immediately preceding the start of a reporting period
  • The anticipated amount of mixed waste material that will be received by that facility during the relevant year.

Schedule 9A Materials Facilities

Part 1 continued

  • Part 1 paragraph 2 - Interpretation
  • Defines what is meant by:
  • Material particles
  • Material facility
  • Mixed waste materials
  • Household waste
  • Target materials
  • Non-recyclable
  • Non-target material
  • Reporting period
  • Specified output material
  • Materials facilities
  • Reference to the meaning of recycled and recycling

Schedule 9A Materials Facilities

Part 1 continued

  • Part 1 paragraph 3 - Specification of conditions and environmental permits
  • Any environmental permit relating to a Materials Facility that is in force at the time, or that is granted after that time is subject to the condition that the operator of that facility must comply with paragraphs 1 & 2 of Part 1.
  • Where an Operator has given notification, any environmental permit either in force, or granted after that time, is subject to the condition that the operator must comply with Part 2 of this Schedule for so long as that notification has not been withdrawn

Schedule 9A Materials Facilities

Part 2

  • Part 2
  • Paragraph 1 – Input material
  • Sets out the samples facilities must take and measure
  • Sets out that samples must be taken from material received from each supplier

Schedule 9A Materials Facilities

Part 2 continued

  • Part 2
  • Paragraph 1 – Output material
  • Operators must:
  • Measure the total weight of material leaving the facility in each reporting period.
  • Measure the total weight in tonnes of all mixed waste material that leaves the facility in each reporting period to and is transferred to another materials facility for the purpose of separating that material into specified output material.

Schedule 9A Materials Facilities

Part 2 continued

  • Part 2
  • Paragraph 3 – Records
  • The Operator must record the information required under this Schedule which includes
  • Details of samples taken for inputs and outputs and where material is sent to
  • Records must be retained by the operator (min 4 years) and be produced for inspection by the Regulator

Schedule 9A Materials Facilities

Part 2 continued

  • Part 2
  • Paragraph 4 – Reports to the Regulator
  • Facilities must report the measurements taken of materials received by the facility, the total number, the weight and the average composition levels of all the samples taken for each supplier and by reference to the target materials (glass, metal, paper and plastic).
  • The facility must also provide information in respect of output materials that leave the facility during a reporting period.
  • Reports must be provided to the Regulator in electronic format.

Schedule 9A Materials Facilities

Part 2

  • Sampling Guidance is being drafted to support Schedule 9A which will be made available by WRAP.

Schedule 9A Materials Facilities

Thank you for listening

Sarah Bonwick

Waste Strategy Advisor (Municipal)

Waste & Resource Efficiency Division,

Department for Natural Resources and Food

Welsh Government


Overview of sampling guidance

  • Mike Jefferson
  • Director, Verde Recycling Solutions
  • Guidance to support the Regulations.
  • Will be available on the WRAP website inApril.
  • Development supported by a steering committee with representation from Government, regulators, the waste industry and reprocessors.
  • Separate Defra guidance is also being prepared.
  • Prepared by LRS Consultancy with Verde Recycling Solutions, Waste Intelligence and International Safety Services.
  • Non statutory (but with input from regulators).
  • A practical guide explaining the requirements of the Regulations.
  • Gives best practise guidance.
  • Will help ensure a high quality consistent approach to sampling.
  • Facilities (MF) can adapt sampling techniques to fit individual circumstances.
  • Highlights the potential operational and commercial benefits of sampling.
do you operate a mf
Do you operate a MF?
  • A regulated facility or part of a regulated facility that receives mixed waste material in order to separate it into specified output material for the purpose of selling it, or transferring it to other facilities or persons to enable that material to be recycled by those facilities or persons.
  • The Regulations apply to MFs that receive 1,000 tonnes or more of mixed waste materialfor sorting in four consecutive reporting periods (each reporting period is three months)
what is mixed waste material
What is Mixed Waste Material?
  • Waste that:
  • (a) originates
  • (i) from households, or
  • (ii) from other sources but is similar to household waste in terms of its nature or composition; and
  • (b) consists in the largest proportion of two or more of the following kinds of target materials mixed together:
  • (i) glass;
  • (ii) metal;
  • (iii) paper;
  • (iv) plastic. 
what does this mean in practice
What does this mean in practice?
  • Mixtures of materials from non household sources containing plastic bottles, glass bottles and jars, cardboard, drinks cans, etc.
  • Typical non household sources would be pubs, restaurants, universities and offices.
  • Additional advice on what might be considered ‘similar to household’ in the Defra guidance – size of plastic containers and trays, types of cardboard, etc.
  • Streams such as household WEEE, textiles, residual and organics not covered by the Regulations.
examples of specified output materials output grades
Examples of specified output materials(output grades)
  • HDPE bottles
  • PET bottles
  • Natural HDPE bottles
  • Coloured HDPE bottles
  • Clear PET
  • Coloured PET
  • PTT
  • Domestic films
  • Mixed bottles
  • Clear (flint) glass
  • Brown (amber) glass
  • Green glass
  • Mixed glass
  • OCC
  • ONP
  • Mixed paper
  • Aluminium UBCs
  • Steel food and drinks cans
  • MF sets their own output grades
MF (subject to input volumes)

Not likely to be a MF

Waste transfer stations acting only as bulking points (so with no sorting activities).

Waste transfer stations that sort C&I wastes.*

Household Waste Recycling Centres (Civic Amenity Sites).

C&I MRF’s *

MRFs treating only residual waste (‘Dirty’ MRFs).

Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) plants including those used at autoclave facilities unless mixed waste material is accepted for any MRF operations that form part of the process.

Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) production facilities.

WEEE management facilities.

MRF’s separating materials from construction and demolition waste.

  • Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) sorting household dry recyclables.
  • Commercial waste treatment operations and transfer stations where materials similar to household wastes are sorted intospecified output material
  • * Unless the commercial waste meets the definition of Mixed Waste Material..
sampling weights and frequencies
Sampling weights and frequencies
  • Frequency of sampling calculated on a rolling basis
example mf input scenario
Example MF input scenario
  • To 1st October 2016
example mf output scenario
Example MF output scenario
  • To 1st October 2016
taking samples
Taking samples
  • For incoming mixed waste material:
  • By supplier.
  • Sample sizes may fall to 55kg so long as the average over the reporting period is 60kg.
  • For output material:
  • Sampling by grade, e.g. for paper outputs this might be by OCC, newspapers and magazines, mixed paper, etc.
  • No ability to go below the required sample weight.
  • Not required where material arrives pre-sorted.
  • Not required for the residual fraction.
  • Samples should be taken in one go.
  • For material collected pursuant to arrangements made by a waste collection authority under section 45(1)(a)or(b) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 that authority is the supplier;
  • Where the batch is transferred from another MF then they are the supplier;
  • If non of above then the supplier is the person who collected the material or if not known the person responsible for delivering it.
step by step guidance on taking samples
Step by step guidance on taking samples
  • Scheduling of sampling.
  • Based on Regulations and predicted deliveries.
  • Taking representative samples (different days, shifts, times, etc).
  • Isolating the sample.
  • Take samples for:
  • Loose input and output material.
  • Incoming bagged material.
  • Baled material.
  • Labelling, storage & transport.
  • Sampling from bulking points.
guidance also provided for
Guidance also provided for
  • Separating a suitable weight of material.
  • Randomising the sample.
  • Taking a representative sample.
  • Taking a sample using techniques such as slice of pie, direct tipping or points of compass techniques.
  • Taking samples from loose bulked material or from conveyors.
Sampling good practise

Sampling bad practise

Avoid taking samples just from the top or bottom of a pile.

Do not include exceptional items that would ordinarily be removed prior to processing.

Avoid use of built in scales on mobile plant.

Do not test more than one sample at once to minimise cross contamination risks.

Do not ‘adjust’ a sample in an attempt to make it representative.

  • Having a training programme in place.
  • Having a sufficient number of trained staff.
  • Modify the day and time when samples are taken to ensure results are representative.
  • Automate sample taking where possible.
  • Ensure samples are corrected labelled and stored.
  • Containers marked with appropriate fill levels.
  • Undertake spot checks on sampling results.
testing of samples
Testing of samples
  • Samples are split into two size fractions (using a 12mm x 12mm screen for glass and 45mm x 45mm screen for other materials).
  • Larger fraction sorted into target material, non target material and non recyclable material.
  • Smaller fraction (material particles) allocated as per the larger fraction.
  • For incoming mixed waste material the target material needs to be split into a minimum of metal, plastic, glass and paper.
  • Supporting evidence should be kept as to how wastes have been categorised (reprocessors specifications).
  • Covered step by step in the guidance.
target materials
Target materials
  • For incoming mixed waste material this includes all items that are requested for collection in that fraction.
  • Includes integral parts of targeted materials (bottle caps, neck rings, etc) unless specifically excluded in specifications.
  • Includes the following items unless they are classed as a contaminant in the reprocessor’s specification:
  • Aluminium foils and aerosols in UBCs.
  • PET trays in PET bottles (of the correct colour).
  • Wet paper unless it is degraded to the point where it is not fit for recycling.
  • Contaminants can be of the same material type (coloured glass in clear glass, OCC in newspapers and magazines, etc).
  • Care is needed with respect to what is allowed up to a certain percentage and contaminants with a tolerance.
testing other
Testing (other)
  • Where different reprocessors are supplied with the same output grade (each with their own specification) then a common sense approach is proposed to defining target materials.
  • Cardboard and cartons that include cardboard as a composite material should be included in the paper category.
Testing good practise

Testing bad practise

Not clearing /cleaning containers and the work area between testing different samples.

Not isolating testing from other on site activities (H&S and cross contamination risks).

Forcing or persuading material through the sorting mesh.

Weighing samples outside and / or near moving vehicles (H&S and weighing error risks).

  • Ensure ergonomics of the testing area are optimised (H&S and sorting speed / accuracy).
  • Ensure those testing are fully trained.
  • Provide sufficient containers.
  • Do not overfill containers.
  • Containers should be clean and dry.
typical equipment
Typical equipment
  • Platform scales
  • Bench scales
  • Calibration weights
  • Shovels / brooms
  • Containers (sample / sorting)
  • Screens
  • Sorting table
  • PPE
  • Long handled wire cutters
  • Pickers / sharps bin
  • Sampling sheets
  • Loading shovel
  • Automated bin lifts
  • Mini sort conveyors
sampling statistics
Sampling statistics
  • Reporting of average target material content and standard deviation for each supplier (waste in) and output grades required.
  • The standard deviation provides a measure of how much variation there is from the average for the target material content across the sampling results
  • Objective: high average target material content with low standard deviation.
  • Overview of other statistical analysis that could be carried out using the data.
  • Commentary on interpretation of statistics.
health and safety
Health and Safety
  • Layout and structure of the sampling area.
  • Vehicle movements & operating procedures.
  • Pedestrian access to sampling areas.
  • Safe systems of work.
  • Sampling from bales and from conveyors.
  • Manual handling.
  • Hygiene risks and handling hazardous waste.
  • PPE.
other areas included in the guidance
Other areas included in the guidance
  • Staff training (including H&S).
  • Enforcement of the Regulations.
  • Reporting templates.
  • Questions and answers.
  • Flowcharts.
  • Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
  • Defra
  • Environment Agency
  • Environmental Services Association
  • Kent Resource Partnership
  • Local Government Association
  • Natural Resources Wales
  • Northern Ireland Environment Agency
  • Resource Association
  • Resource Futures
  • Scottish Environmental Protection Agency
  • Veolia Environmental Services
  • Viridor
  • Welsh Government

MF Reporting Portal on Quality

  • Steve Waite
  • MRF Sector Specialist
  • Introduction
  • What has to be reported in the MF Regulations ?
  • Why do we need the portal ?
  • WRAP Reporting Portal
  • Potential options for inputs
  • Potential options for outputs
  • Advantages and Challenges
  • Timescale
  • Presentation will only give a general overview as the detail has yet to developed
standard error and confidence
Standard Error and Confidence
  • If standard deviation and number of samples are provided
  • Standard error = SD/√n
  • At a stated confidence level (95% has a z=1.96)
  • Then mean range = mean +/- (1.96 x standard error)
why do we need the portal
Why Do We Need The Portal ?
  • Need to be able to understand the quality of materials being delivered into and despatched from MFs.
  • Regulator public registers may not provide sufficient detail.
  • Maximise ease of access by stakeholders.
  • To be able to easily locate particular suppliers or MFs an electronic portal with search facilities.
schematic draft layout of wrap portal
Schematic Draft Layout of WRAP Portal


Regulator (EA)

Data Validated

MFs Electronically Provide Quarterly Data

Opportunity for other Regulators

Registered Stakeholders Access Portal

potential further searches
Potential Further Searches
  • Information by Nation
  • Information by Region
  • Information by type of local authority
  • Information by size of MF
  • Straight forward way to access information.
  • Will allow a degree of comparison between local authorities and MFs.
  • Will allow MF to be considered against material received and despatched.
  • Will be able to get results by quarter
  • Acceptance by Industry
  • Results being used in context
  • Dealing with the different interpretations of material grades
  • Differentiating between a waste management company supplier and waste management company operator.
  • The first reporting period is October 1st to December 31st.
  • MFs have one month beyond 31st December to provide their results.
  • Portal to be tested for end of 2014 and ready to receive the first set of validated data from 1st February 2015.
thank you
Thank You

Materials Facilities

Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Amendment Regulations 2014

The Role of the Regulator

Nadia De Longhi

Strategy Manager (Waste)



  • Regulatory framework
  • Who’s outside?
  • Notifications
  • Sampling and Reporting returns to the regulator
  • Inspection by the regulator
  • Charges
  • What happens if you don’t comply?
  • Timeline

Regulatory Framework

  • Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2014
    • Schedule 9A Materials Facilities into force October 2014
        • Introduces requirements directly into qualifying permits effectively as Conditions for operators to:
        • decide if they qualify
        • notify the regulator if they do
        • sample, assess and report on quality
    • We have estimated that there will be approximately 30 qualifying sites in Wales.

Who’s out?

  • Waste transfer or bulking activities not involving sorting
  • Sorting just one stream
  • Incoming waste is unlike household
  • Incoming waste does not contain target materials
  • Household Waste Recycling Centres (civic amenity sites)
  • Only treating residual waste (‘dirty’ MRFs)
  • Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) (without any MRF operations)
  • Refuse Derived Fuel plant without a sorting facility.
  • Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment is excluded.
  • Separating only construction and demolition waste
  • Activities authorised by Exemptions



  • At the start of each quarter, operators must assess whether they are likely to accept more than 1,000 tonnes of mixed recyclable waste within the coming year
  • If so, they must notify the regulator;
  • Only notify once, not every quarter;
  • Notification remains active until the operator withdraws it;
  • Operator can withdraw notification e.g. if a future assessment indicates they no longer qualify;
  • If you are unsure whether you qualify, refer to guidance and contact us for advice.

Sampling and Reporting returns

  • From 1 October 2014, materials facilities (MF) must:
  • carry out sampling of waste inputs and outputs and analyse composition;
  • record the information and have available to the regulator on request;
  • report information electronically every 3 months to the regulator.
  • We will advise you of the format for the reported data return in due course.
  • Reported data will be published and placed on a Public Register.

Inspection by Natural Resources Wales

  • Awareness visits;
  • Desktop audits of reported data;
  • Announced inspections:
    • Inspecting management systems and checking bales against reported data;
  • Unannounced inspections:
    • Focus on areas of potential weakness;
  • Inspection and audit findings will be reported on Compliance Assessment Reports (CAR).


  • Arrangements for charging are being developed for consultation in March / April 2014;
  • Charges to cover the regulatory effort required

What happens if you don’t comply?

  • The following will be treated as breaches of your permit:
    • Failure to notify
    • Failure to measure inputs and outputs from the facility
    • Failure to measure at the required frequency and weights
    • Failure to record
    • Failure to report
  • Our general approach to enforcement and sanctions will apply

Concluding messages

  • We are involved to provide confidence in the data;
  • MF Regulation is a discrete additional piece of work;
  • We want to work with business to deliver the aims.


  • March 2014 Consultation on charges starts
  • April 2014 We write to operators we believe qualify
  • Operators can notify us and start preparations
  • July Charging arrangements in place
  • We can formally start advisory visits
  • October First 3 month reporting period starts
  • Operators start sampling (for Oct-Dec period)
  • Jan 2015 First reported data due from operators by 31 Jan.
  • TBA First quarter results published