What is commingled waste and why do you need to know about it?
In the world of recycling, there are a lot of terms that get used frequently but you might not know what they all mean. One of these terms is ‘commingled waste’, which is basically just a fancy way of saying recyclable waste streams that are mixed together instead of being separated.
This means your plastic, paper, card, cans and mixed glass are all mixed together, and for this reason it is also sometimes referred to as a ‘mixed recyclable stream’. It refers only to waste streams that would normally be recycled – everything else that gets mixed together, including these waste streams and other rubbish from your household or business is known as general waste which is mixed in together.
For commingled waste, having an exceptional sorting and processing facility is crucial, to ensure that the maximum amount of materials recovered are recycled instead of being sent to landfill. The materials are separated at a facility called a materials recovery facility (MRF) which is specially equipped to deal with this mixed recycling stream.
At Regen, we operate one of the most advanced materials recycling facilities in the UK, with the critical balance between automated, mechanical and manual sorting processes meaning that we can make light work of commingled waste and ensure that a minimal amount of waste processed will be sent to landfill. We can collect commingled waste from sites across the UK and Ireland, and we currently process over 180,000 tonnes of dry recyclable materials each year.
Councils need to meet recycling targets in order to avoid financial penalties so everything you can do to help will ensure these targets are met. If you have been given separate bins to recycle different waste streams, then use them. If not, and all your recycling materials are mixed in together, make sure you pay attention to collection dates so that your waste can be collected promptly and processed.
You can find out more about our state-of-the-art facility in this video on our website which goes into detail about how we process commingled waste and the different stages of separating the streams for recycling.