A new default rule which could see more waste operations having to take place in an “enclosed building” is causing concern within the waste management sector.

The building proposal, which could prove costly to many businesses and local authorities as it covers civic amenity sites, is contained in a draft Environment Agency guidance document currently out for consultation.

The document is a formal public consultation into “new guidance for permitted facilities taking non-hazardous and inert waste for treatment or transfer.”

It comes on the back of the development of the European waste management BREF which covers the installations of a number of hazardous and non-hazardous treatments.


The Environment Agency consultation guidance document is seen as implementing the BREF and the concept of BAT, best available Techniques. Explaining the draft guidance, the Agency states: “The guidance has been produced to improve the way that permitted facilities in the non-hazardous and inert waste sector are operated and designed. The aim is to ensure that standards are clear, consistent and enforceable.

“The guidance will apply to existing and new facilities including household waste recycling centres, waste transfer stations, materials recycling facilities and sites producing soil and aggregates.

“Unless specifically stated, the appropriate measures in the guidance will apply to all permitted waste management facilities in the sector, whether operating under an installation or waste operation permit.”

The Agency adds: “The guidance will apply to newly permitted waste facilities through the environmental permit application process. It will also apply to existing facilities, which will be given time to implement the new standards.”

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