Waste – Disposal
- Consent Needed and How to Obtain It
- Performance Standards
- Sampling/Monitoring Requirements
- Reporting Requirements
- Non Compliance
- Renewal and Variation
- Pending Legislation
For more detail on the Legislation relevant to this page, please use the following links:
|Consent Needed (also see the Performance Standards tab):||
A Waste Management Licence is required for any waste disposal activities (unless activities fall under the PPC Regulations).
Some waste disposal processes as determined by Schedule 1 of the PPC Regulations 2000 (e.g. landfill and incineration of hazardous waste) will now require an IPPC Permit (which will replace any existing Waste Management Licence). Discussions will be needed with EA/SEPA as to which permit route is applicable (see IPPC Permits). Where waste disposal facilities are within for example an onshore terminal, any waste disposal operations are likely to be covered under new IPPC permits, as IPPC applies to the installation rather than the process.
|How to Apply:||
An application for a Waste Management Licence may only be made if planning permission has been granted, or the land in question has an “established use” certificate. Planning applications may require an EIA depending on their size and nature. Planning applications will include consideration of nuisance (e.g. atmospheric emissions) and impacts to groundwater resources.
Applications for Waste Management Licences must be made on a form provided by the appropriate Agency. Contact EA or SEPA for advice. They will meet you to discuss the proposals and explain the application process.
As part of the licence application you will need to prepare a working plan. This document describes how to prepare, develop, operate and restore (where relevant) the site or plant. If you write a comprehensive working plan it will help to avoid delays in processing your application. It may also mean that some of your licence conditions could be less restrictive, giving you more opportunity for flexibility in your operations.
The licence application should demonstrate that the applicant is a “fit and proper” person. Demonstration of this includes having adequate financial provision to cover the licence obligations, whether a technically competent person will be managing the licensed activities and whether there are any convictions for relevant offences.
Waste Management Licences are not normally needed for the following activities, but establishments or undertakings carrying out an exempted activity must be registered with SEPA/EA:
It should be noted that an activity falling into one of the exempted categories will not necessarily be exempt and the Schedule to the Waste Management Licence Regulations 1994 should be checked. In most cases the exemptions do not apply where the types and quantities of waste may have environmental and health implications. Exemptions do not apply to Special/Hazardous Waste.
Apply in writing using application form provided by the appropriate Agency (SEPA/EA).
|Who to Apply To:||SEPA/EA as appropriate.|
|When to Apply:||SEPA/EA has four months in which to consider the application once all the information has been received. If at the end of that time the regulatory authority has neither advised the applicant of acceptance or intention of rejection, then the application is deemed to have been refused. SEPA/EA will consult with HSE and Natural England/SNH/CCW if appropriate. Consultees have 28 days to submit comments.|
|Consultation on Waste Management Licensing Regulations:||A consultation process for the Waste Management Licensing Regulations and associated amendments including legislation relating to waste carriers has recently been completed. See consultation.|
Most waste from commerce and industry are Controlled Wastes, including materials that are to be recycled (see Waste Classification). Controlled waste includes waste arising from domestic, industrial and commercial premises as well as Special Waste (or Hazardous Waste) for which there are additional regulations.
Scrap metal is a controlled waste for the purpose of Duty of Care under 1995 amendments made to the Controlled Waste Regulations 1992. Additional guidance on scrap metal is available under Waste Management Paper No 4a.
Defra recently completed a consultation process to further develop and determine the definition of waste. The intention is to help businesses and other organisations take the right decisions about the classification of substances as waste, particularly in the more difficult cases. View consultation (PDF document).
|Waste Minimisation, Recovery and Reuse:||
The National Waste Strategies for England, Wales and Scotland set out the key principles to meet future objectives and statutory objectives for waste management with drives towards reduction of waste production at source as well as recycling and reuse of waste (see Waste Minimisation).
UK objectives are to reduce the amount of waste at source or recycle/reuse as far as possible. Waste disposal is seen as the final option. The three main options for waste disposal are:
Under the Landfill Tax Regulations a landfill tax was introduced. Two levels of tax are set:
Although the amount dumped in landfill has been slowly decreasing, Britain is facing fines from the European Union if it does not make further reductions. The tax to dump rubbish in landfill sites is rising sharply. The cost went up on 1 April 2010 to £48 a tonne; it will continue to rise by £8 a year until 2013. View information on Landfill Tax.
|Landfill and Incineration Monitoring Requirements:||The PPC Permit or Waste Management Licence will stipulate any requirements for air/water monitoring required.|
|Records to be Kept:||
Records should be kept that detail the quantity, nature, origin, and where relevant, destination, frequency of collection, mode of transport and treatment method of any waste disposed of or recovered.
A Transfer Note should be completed whenever waste is handed over to an authorised person and should be signed by all parties. The transfer note details from whom and to whom the waste has been transferred, the category of authorised person to whom the waste has been consigned, relevant licence numbers, time, place and date of transfer as well as information on the quantity of waste, how it is packed and a description of the waste.
The transfer note, to be completed and signed by both persons involved in the transfer, must include:
The written description must provide as much information as someone else might need to handle the waste safely.
The List of Waste Regulations 2005 (England) transpose the European Waste Catalogue (EWC) into domestic legislation. The term ‘European Waste Code’ has been replaced by ‘List of Waste’ (LOW). The description must therefore refer to the LOW which provides descriptions of waste types from processes and industrial sectors.
In the case of repeated transfers and where such transfers involve consignment of the same type of waste to the same authorised person, a transfer note need not be completed on every transfer. In such circumstances, a transfer note should be completed at least annually and systems should be in place to ensure that no authorised or accidental deviation from the original consignment details take place.
|Environment Agency: Civil Sanctions:|
On 4 January 2011, the Environment Agency will begin using new civil sanctions to take action that is proportionate to the offence and the offender, and reflect the fact that most offences committed by businesses are unintentional.
SEPA/EA will make inspections of facilities which collect/transport or recover/dispose of waste, or which arranges for the recovery/disposal of waste on behalf of others.
SEPA/EA may serve notice on a waste holder requesting copies of relevant documents (transfer notes) within seven days.
Inspections of exempted activities are undertaken annually.
Reporting of Non-compliance:If the operator believes that his waste is not being dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the law, he must firstly prevent further transfer of waste to the suspected party and secondly, notify SEPA/EA.Non-compliance:
Dumping of any waste (including Special/Hazardous waste) or treating it without a licence may result in a maximum fine of £20,000 and/or six months in prison or summary conviction of an unlimited fine and/or two years in prison (five years if special waste is involved) on conviction on indictment.
Failure to supply copies of transfer notes may result in a fine of up to £5,000 on summary conviction or an unlimited fine on conviction on indictment.
Where the regulatory authority has reason to believe that the licence holder has ceased to be a “fit and proper” person or licence conditions are being breached, or that activities may cause harm to the environment or human health, it may serve notice that it intends to suspend or partially revoke the licence. In suspending or partially suspending the licence, the licence holder may be required to take the necessary steps to deal with or avert the pollution. If emergency remedial action is required, the regulatory authority may carry out the necessary work and then recover the expenditure from the licence holder.
It is an offence for an undertaker of an exempted activity not to be registered.
|Renewal of Permit:||
Waste Management Licence
Licence conditions will normally be reviewed annually to ensure they remain the appropriate activities carried out at the site.
Registrations are valid indefinitely.
The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 replace the licensing system in Part II of the Environmental Protection Act
The introduction of a more streamlined Environmental Permitting Programme (EPP) is part of an initiative designed to reduce costs for businesses and regulators. See DEFRA guidance for more information.
|Variation of Waste Management Licence:||
Section 37 of EPA 90 places a duty on the regulatory authority to take the necessary steps to ensure that Waste Management Licence conditions are being met and that licensed activities are not causing any pollution or harm to human health. If necessary the regulatory authority may by notice modify the licence conditions.
The licence holder may also apply for licence conditions to be varied. Contact the EA or SEPA to discuss proposals in the first instance.
|Site closure:||Unless otherwise revoked or surrendered, the Waste Management Licence and any accompanying conditions apply to closed disposal sites, with operators retaining a duty of care for them.|
|Draft Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 (PDF document):||The main aim of these regulations is to implement Directive 2008/98/EC, on waste, (the Waste Framework Directive) and Scotland’s Zero Waste Plan.|
|Proposals for an Integrated Framework of Environmental Regulation:||The proposals outlined by SEPA will deliver a simpler legislative framework which will enable SEPA to focus its greatest effort on the environmental problems that matter most. It will provide a more consistent range of enforcement tools so that proportionate and effective action can be taken against those who would damage the environment. The consultation that has been undertaken is built on previous consultations focusing on changes to the structure of environmental protection legislation in order to create a new, integrated framework for the permissions (licences, permits, rules, etc.) which will be used to control activities which could harm the environment.|
|Scotland’s Zero Waste Plan:||The Scottish Government has adopted Zero Waste as a goal for Scotland. This means eliminating unnecessary use of raw materials, sustainable design, resource efficiency and waste prevention. View Scotland’s Zero Waste Plan here (PDF document).|
|European Waste Framework Directive (WFD):||A revised European Waste Framework Directive (WFD) will be in force by December 2010. The objective of the WFD is: ‘to protect the environment and human health by preventing or reducing the adverse impacts of the generation and management of waste and by reducing overall impacts of resource use and improving the efficiency of such use.’|
|Revision of the Provisional Categorization of Liquid Substances in Accordance with MARPOL ANNEX II and the IBC Code||The IMO have released a circular in accordance with regulation 6.3 of MARPOL Annex II, replacing all previously issued circulars under this title, which covers a range of pollutants including cargo tank cleaning additives.|
|Waste (Meaning of Recovery) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Order SSI 2015/438||Applying to Scotland only, this Order came into force on 1 July 2016 and amends the following: