TEEP legislation for 2015
The facts about new recycling regulations and TEEP
Commencing on the 1st January, under the revised EU Waste Framework Directive, all businesses are being advised that they are required to separate for collection all plastic, metal, paper and glass, but do they need to?
As a direct result of a consultation undertaken by The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) first published in 2013, draft Material Recovery Facility (MRF) Regulations came into force. The purpose of these regulations is to improve the quality of materials being collected and processed for recycling.
Waste management websites, forums and blogs are inundated with inaccuracies making waste producers believe the only way to conform to the new legislation is to separate the specified waste streams. This is not always the case.
If you’re already separately containerising your plastic, metal, paper and card as part of a co-mingled recycling bin and single streaming your glass, then providing material qualities are high, there may be no need to change.
European Commission guidance 5 states “Considering that the aim of separate collection is high quality recycling, the introduction of a separate collection system is not necessary if high quality recycling can be achieved just as well with a co-mingled collection”.
If the quality call is marginal, then before any change is made, the business should apply the TEEP test. TEEP stands for, “Technically, Environmentally and Economically Practical”.
Is it technically practicable?
Many businesses are unable to accommodate additional waste containers due to space limitations. If they’re already separately collecting recyclates in a co-mingled bin, this may be as good as it can be whilst operating within the available space.
Is it environmentally practicable?
There may be a positive environmental benefit to single source recyclates however, this should be balanced with the environmental repercussions of the increased vehicle movements or the raw materials required in the manufacture of the additional waste containers. Potential benefits need to be evaluated fully.
Is it economically practicable?
Would the segregation result in an excessive cost in comparison to a non-separated waste stream?
Fresh Start believe that the quality of recycling achieved by our collection system and subsequent separation is as good as could be achieved if the same materials were to be collected as separate fractions, and that the quantity of recycling is at least as high as would be achieved with separate collections. In addition, by collecting several materials at the same time we are reducing the number of collection vehicles required and therefore our collections will have a lower environmental and economic impact.