In the U.K., the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) has advised local councils to be mindful of "quantity not quality" when trying to improve recycling rates.
More waste diverted from landfills reduces tippage charges, which has sometimes been the focus of administrators. If inappropriate material ends up in the recycling bin, however, the extra financial burden of extra handling and ultimately landfilling of low grade recyclables can nullify any benefit of the original diversion.
According to ICE, low-grade material is increasingly being produced by recycling efforts as more items are diverted from landfill.
It is high time for the UK waste industry to evolve from a disposal mindset to that of a supply-minded approach that unlocks the real economic value of materials, ICE urges.
Qualnitity of recycling is need, and quality also. We really need both.