Late last week (April 18), MEPs approved new legislation on waste and the circular economy, stating that European countries must recycle 55% of all municipal waste by 2025 and 65% by 2035. In addition, the motion was passed to reduce landfilling to as little as just 10%. For this to be possible, Stadler claims that responsibility must be assumed at all stages of the waste supply chain. Not only do Materials Recycling Facilities (MRFs) need to ensure they have the right equipment to improve recycling output, but a new approach must be taken to waste collections to boost municipal; recyclate quality.
Ruben Maistry, sales manager at Stadler Engineering, commented: “Even more challenging and stringent targets mean MRFs throughout the UK and Europe must improve their recycling capability. Without the right equipment, performing at optimum levels, this will not be possible.
“However, the onus shouldn’t just be put on recyclers. Co-mingling of municipal recycling does not bode well for improved recycling rates and without collection uniformity, contamination will remain high.”
While the new legislation proposes that all biodegradable household waste must be collected separately or recycled at home through composting by 2024, and househol textiles and hazardous waste must be collected separately by the following year, still more must be done.
In fact, although Maistry welcomes this change, he believes that it will only scratch the surface of the efforts required for the UK to meet new targets. He concluded: “We need government leadership to revolutionise household collections. The recycling industry should be led from the top. Without this support and a step change in collections, we are likely to fall short of these new targets.”