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Why Quality Matters. Linda Crichton. Head of Collections & Quality. What do we mean by quality?. Quality of materials

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Why Quality Matters

Linda Crichton

Head of Collections & Quality

what do we mean by quality
What do we mean by quality?
  • Quality of materials
    • consistently delivering materials to the market place that are effectively separated to meet customer requirements and comply with legal obligations under European directives or with specific regulations in the Nations
  • Quality of service
    • consistently delivering a good service that takes account of the needs of residents (and businesses) and where they live
importance of quality regulations
Importance of quality - regulations
      • Article 11 of the rWFD
  • Member States shall take measures to promote high qualityrecycling and, to this end, shall set up separate collections of waste where technically, environmentally and economically practicable and appropriate to meet the necessary quality standards for the relevant recycling sectors.
      • SG Policy Statement – Zero Waste Regulations

“We intend to stipulate in the regulations that co-mingling of dry recyclables will only be permitted where the hierarchy is not undermined…and the outputs from the MRF are of comparable quality to that collected separately at the kerbside.”

importance of quality exports
Importance of quality - exports
  • China single largest destination for UK exports of recovered plastics and paper.
  • UK materials account for 11% of the Chinese imports of recovered paper and 9% for recovered plastics.
quality also
Quality also ..
  • …allows the best environmental option to be realised
    • reuse, closed loop recycling, recovery of energy

Plastic bottle recycling & kg CO2e

quality is a supply chain issue
Quality is a ‘supply chain’ issue
  • Role of householders
  • Design & delivery of collection system
  • Capacity & management of MRFs/ treatment plants
  • Reprocessors / end markets

All in the chain need to take responsibility

service commitments
Service Commitments
  • Customer experience is central to the design and delivery of services
  • Local accountability
  • Opportunity to improve communication with service users and increase satisfaction
  • New Business Recycling & Waste Services Commitment
mrf code of practice
MRF Code of Practice
  • Promote quality in the way recyclable materials are sorted through an industry-led Code of Practice
  • Part of Responsibility Deal between Defra& Waste and Resource Management Sector
  • Measurement protocols for input and output quality
  • Transparency of results
  • Options for implementing the CoP being considered including making it mandatory
mrf quality thresholds
MRF Quality thresholds
  • MRF material testing – establishing baseline for Scotland of contamination/non target material levels
  • Undertaking quality thresholds scoping study for SG; WG also participating
    • SG to include provisions in the ZW Regs to enable Scottish Ministers to issue quality standards for recycling
  • Looking into the effects of compaction during collect on MRF ability to sort
  • Convened an industry group looking at plastic bale quality
quality protocols
Quality Protocols
  • Define ‘end of waste’ criteria
      • No longer regulated as waste
      • Reduces cost of producing recycled materials
      • Expands market for recycled materials
  • Materials deregulated to date
      • Compost, Digestate, Aggregates
      • Flat Glass, Non-Packaging Plastics
      • Tyre derived Rubber
      • Used Cooking Oil
specifications pas
Specifications (PAS)
  • Confidence in a product for the right use
  • Clarity for regulators and regulated
  • Waste status can be a barrier
  • Specifiers: guarantee that process & outputs conform to a baseline quality level
  • E.g. PAS100 (composted materials) and PAS110 (AD outputs)
in summary
In summary…

There are risks to the supply chain if quality not delivered…

  • Political – high profile service
  • Motivational - householders loose confidence
  • Operational – reduced efficiency/ increased cost
  • Environmental – best outcomes not delivered
  • End Markets - product quality reduced

There are different approaches to ensuring quality is delivered

thank you
Thank you


Further info on:

  • MRFs:
  • Quality compost & digestate:
how well do mrfs perform
How well do MRFs perform?
  • In the top 25% of UK MRFs
    • 6% of their input is non-recyclable material
    • 28% of their residue stream could have been recovered
  • In the bottom 25% of UK MRFs
    • 17% of their input is non-recyclable material
    • 80% of their residue stream could have been recovered
  • Contamination in recovered paper (News and PAMS)
    • 75% of UK MRFs produce paper with >4.6% contamination
    • UK newsprint mills expect <2% contamination
  • Average amount disposed of by UK MRFs is about 13% of input