Our priorities for the permitting and regulation of this sector of the waste industry are to:
- Prevent accidents and limit the consequences of any that occur.
- Ensure appropriate waste management options are selected.
- Make sure that waste treatment for subsequent landfilling is carried out and that landfill waste acceptance criteria (WAC) are met.
- Ensure that discharges to sewer are adequately controlled.
This Sector Guidance Note (SGN) reflects these priorities. It has been produced for use by:
- Our permitting and compliance staff.
- Waste management operators undertaking activities in Sections 5.3 and 5.4, for both permit application purposes and when auditing their own operations.
- Operators of installations in other sectors where waste is treated or stored on site.
- Operators of waste operations that accept higher risk waste, including any form of hazardous waste, who should meet the standards set in the SGN for the relevant aspects of waste pre-acceptance, acceptance and storage.
This SGN focuses on the principles that have to be taken account of when determining the conditions of a waste installation permit under the Environmental Permitting Regulations. These are set out in Schedule 7 of the Regulations, with specific reference to Articles 3 and 9 of the IPPC Directive (2008/1/EC), which seek to ensure that:
- All appropriate measures are taken to prevent and reduce pollution through the application of Best Available Techniques (BAT) and no significant pollution is caused.
- Measures necessary to prevent accidents and limit their consequences are taken.
- The waste hierarchy is followed, and where waste is disposed of it is done so whilst avoiding or reducing any impact on the environment.
- Energy is used efficiently.
The requirements of the revised Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC), which has repealed and re-enacted requirements of the Waste Oils Directive (75/439/EEC) and the Hazardous Waste Directive (91/689/EEC), must also be addressed.
We plan to review this SGN once the European BREF on waste treatment has been reviewed. In order to inform that review, we welcome comment and information from operators, technology vendors and other interested parties on this document.
S5.06, Appendix 6 - Supplementary guidance for clinical waste
If you are applying for a new permit for a clinical waste facility you should refer to the new guidance EPR5.07 Additional guidance for clinical waste.
However, for existing facilities that have conditions in their permits that relate directly to S5.06 and/or Appendix 6 (alternative treatment (AT) plant and transfer station installation permits), the new guidance will not take effect until the permit is varied. Therefore, Appendix 6 will still be applicable:
EPR 5.07: Clinical waste
Following discussion and agreement with the Sanitary Medical Disposal Services Association (SMDSA), EPR 5.07 has now been amended and re-issued.
EPR 5.07 is a guidance document aimed at operators of all waste management facilities that accept clinical waste, including AT plants, incinerators which burn clinical waste (there is also additional guidance on waste incineration in EPR 5.01) and clinical waste transfer stations. It sets out the standards and measures for the management of clinical wastes. The whole document does not apply to all facilities. There is a table in the introduction which details which sections of the guidance apply to which type of facilities.
The main purpose of EPR 5.07 is to set out the standards that operators should meet to comply with the regulatory requirements (including the requirement for implied Best Available Techniques (BAT)), improve the environment, prevent accidents and reduce emissions from these facilities:
Clinical waste pre-acceptance producer briefing note
This briefing note has been produced in discussion with the SMDSA. This is an amended version of the briefing note which was issued in October 2009 and updates the timetable for bringing in pre-acceptance at clinical waste facilities.
In response to a number of serious incidents we have clarified our position with additional guidance setting out the standards that we expect all permitted facilities (waste installations and waste operations) to achieve. This covers both the storage and treatment of bulk or source-separated loads of waste aerosol canisters and other pressurised wastes:
Treating waste by thermal desorption
This guidance document sets out the additional requirements that we expect regulated facilities to meet for the treatment of waste materials by thermal desorption processes, along with those set out in SGN 5.06. Thermal desorption is a treatment process whereby heat is applied to materials, such as waste soils, sediments, slurries and filter cakes, in order to remove (vaporise) volatile contaminants (e.g. oils and solvents). Along with such volatile contaminants, thermal desorption will also vaporise water contained within the material and therefore a thermal desorption plant also functions, and may be referred to, as a “dryer”.
Flammability of fridge insulation foam
We have carried out a study to assess the flammability of fridge insulation foam to help prevent fire incidents at fridge storage and treatment sites, and ensure wastes are coded correctly.
We have concluded that fridge insulation foam produced using a hydrocarbon blowing agent should be considered highly flammable, unless tested and demonstrated otherwise. Discarded fridges and freezers containing such foam should be classified and consigned as hazardous waste.
We have published a report that summarises the results and conclusions of the study.