Councils earning less from waste recycling

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New WRAP report shows councils are not gaining an income from waste recycling

A new report produced by Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) claims that councils throughout England and Wales are not generating as much income from municipal waste recycling due to the increasing costs of materials recycling facility (MRF) gate fees.

According to the report, which was published on May 26, materials recycling facility (MRF) gate fees have been on the increase for months, due to the significant drop in material prices, including oil and steel.

WRAP gate fees reveal councils are earning from waste

A table of gate fees produced by WRAP

As a result of this, some English and Welsh local authorities are not earning any income from recycling but are in fact losing money, as some MRFs are actually charging councils for depositing their municipal waste.

The annual report is produced in order to assess the median and range of gate fee prices being charged for the treatment of waste materials at materials recycling facilities, organic waste facilities, energy recovery plants, mechanical biological facilities, wood waste plants and landfill sites.

According to the report, which covers 2015/16, the median price paid by councils for MRF gate fees in 2016 has risen to £25, a significant increase of £19 since 2015. WRAP believes that these gate fees will likely continue to rise.

WRAP has said that gate fees at other waste treatment facilities has remained steady but that falling global commodity prices are affecting the gate fees being demanded at MRFs across the nation.

Figures from the report suggests that some councils are paying up to £89 in gate fees, while others are receiving up to £62 for their waste material. However, only 25 per cent of local authorities claim to pay no fee or earn an income at MRFs; that is a big drop since last year’s 46 per cent.

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