Why is Waste Sorted?
As part of the UK Waste Regulations, businesses are required to separate recyclable materials form other waste. Therefore, waste sorting is an obligation for businesses, as well as households, whose recycling is not collected by waste crews if incorrectly sorted.
The push by the government and local authorities for increased waste sorting is due to its benefits. Sorted and separated waste means the quality of recycling increases due to reduced impurities. Similarly, the more waste that gets sorted, the more materials get recycled instead of wending up in a singular waste stream direct to landfill.
For a business assessing their waste management, sorting waste is not only key for compliance, but also integral to creating an effective waste management plan. Proper waste sorting can facilitate reaching environmental aims, including recycling.
What Waste is Sorted?
The type of waste sorted at a particular place depends on a variety of factors; for example, construction waste may be sorted at a general MRF, whereas metal waste may be sorted in a specialised facility.
Generally, waste is sorted according to material, recyclability, or any particular process required. Sorted waste includes paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, wood, scrap metal, compost, hazardous waste, residual waste and more.
Organic waste is often also collected and sorted i.e. food waste. This includes peelings, tea bags, eggshells, and coffee grounds for composting.