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UK Environment Agency Takes Further Steps to Enable Industry to Produce Products from Waste Materials

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Products from waste materials

When waste wood can be re-used carbon emissions are reduced and deforestation pressures are eased

In recent years there has been a rapid increase in UK recycling, however, there has also been disappointment at the difficulties experienced by innovative recycling organisations when it comes to the Waste Regulations, due to the difficulties experienced with the Waste Regulations which have tended to mean that once a material has been recycled and re-processed it remains officially still a waste.

At times the recycling companies have reported that this has substantially inhibited the marketing and sales of a large number of recyclates.

For that reason the publication last week by the UK Environment Agency of two consultation papers for comments from the waste management industry has been welcomed by the UK Waste Management Industry.

Consultation is now underway on:

  • End of waste criteria for the production and use of products from fully processed waste derived wood, and
  • End of waste criteria (Quality Protocol) for the production of aggregates from inert waste

They have stated that the project is now launched online for a period of consultation in which the Environment Agency invites industry to comment and provide feedback on these draft Quality Protocols, in order to highlight the potential impacts of these.

The hope is that these protocols will provide clear rules for the waste management industry to define what must be achieved by operators in these market sectors, so that the whole panoply of licensing and waste disposal regulation can be lifted from these materials, once recycled/processed to an adequate quality.

This should help additional investment from the recycling companies in new processing facilities and in due course also raise the market stability, and value, of these new products.

In turn this should help reduce the burden of cost for the much improved recycling rates now being achieved at approximately 40% across all household and municipal waste, but which is still in the most part being shouldered by UK ratepayers.

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