Recycling Trend in Reverse?
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Recycling Trend in Reverse?

Recycling Trend in Reverse?

Leafield Environmental is witnessing a trend back towards recyclate “segregation at source” in commercial, retail and higher education sectors, flying in the face of trends in household recycling where less than 42% of England’s household waste is segregated at source as recyclables. In the domestic environment commingled waste collection would appear to be the way forward.

There are no right and wrong answers in the debate between commingled waste and waste segregation at source. It very much depends on the types of waste being generated, the value of each stream when segregated and the type of collection services available in the geographic area. 

Segregation at source can be ideal for waste generators who realise the value to be had from waste streams such as glass, aluminium, paper etc, while many waste collectors extol the virtues of simple primary segregation into dry mixed recyclables and landfill waste streams only. This latter route makes collection easier and more economical while removing much of the opportunity for accidental waste stream contamination. 

There is documented evidence that a significantly greater amount of recyclate can be collected if the segregation is made simple. ie The decision is a basic choice between land fill and dry mixed recyclables. In domestic recycling the trend has certainly been towards commingled waste collection with the majority of top councils reverting to this approach.

Leafield Environmental, the leading manufacturer of internal recycling bins has noticed a partial reversal of this trend in the commercial and education sectors. 

“in the first decade of the new centurywe were noticing a move towards commingled recycling as MRFs became available. We produced the Meridian recycling bin with a 70/30 split to encourage the segregation of dry recyclables away from landfill waste,” said Phil Maddox, Managing Director of Leafield Environmental. “In recent years we have seen a move back to segregation at source as our customers have realised the value of their waste streams and the bin users have become increasingly aware of their recycling responsibilities.  Having two waste streams in a single bin appears to have paved the way to having three (or even more) waste streams in that same bin as in the case of the Meridian triple lid.”

Leafield has also introduced Envirostack stacking bins where three or four individual waste streams are handled in close proximity. 

“Perhaps the move from general waste collection to complete recycling segregation was too much too soon,” continued Maddox. “Now that recycling has become entrenched in everyone’s psyche it is not such a big step to segregate at source.”

A wide selection of plastic, recyclable, recycling bins with WRAP compliant labels is available from Leafield Environmental. See them all at



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