‘Glad wrap says commingling is an option’: Greenstar CEO


Source: Greenstar UK

Recycling-led waste management specialist Greenstar UK has welcomed WRAP’s report, Choosing the right recycling system, which confirms, again, that commingled recycling collections should remain an option for local authorities.

The report, published to coincide with the FutureSource exhibition in London, concluded that kerbside sort collections should be preferred over single or dual stream commingled collection systems.

But Greenstar UK CEO Ian Wakelin emphasised that local authorities shouldn’t be misled by the report’s headline conclusion. “It is by no means the obituary for commingling,” he said. “WRAP clearly states that commingled collection should remain an option for councils. That has always been our position.”

Greenstar has long advocated commingled collections, where these are appropriate, believing they are easier to use for householders and collectors, are proven to increase the capture of recyclables, can and do produce quality recyclates through MRF processing, and are on a cost par with kerbside sort.

A ‘wholehearted’ supporter of WRAP’s focus on encouraging quality collection, quality processing and quality outputs, Wakelin added: “I have always said that there’s no simple answer when it comes to choosing a collection system, and that no one solution suits everyone. WRAP’s report echoes those words. It’s about horses for courses, and that’s why commingling must remain an option, as should kerbside sort.”

He questioned the report’s conclusion that kerbside sort costs less than commingling. “Councils are very cost-conscious, so why would nearly half of all English authorities choose some form of commingled collection if a cheaper alternative was available?” he asked.

Wakelin said the report was full of caveats and hedging, and while acknowledging that kerbside sort generally produced good quality recyclables, added: “I’m happy to trade off slightly higher rejection rates for the substantial increases achieved by commingling.” He cited a London authority where a pilot scheme of single stream commingled collection has increased recyclable volumes by well over 70% where wheeled bins are used.

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