This page has been archived and, as of March 2012, is no-longer maintained by WRAP.
The Landfill Regulations 2002 and amendments have been replaced by the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2007, further revoked by the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010, which, in England and Wales, now implement the European Landfill Directive (Directive 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste) and Council Decision 2003/33/EC establishing criteria and procedures for the acceptance of waste at landfills. The Directive aims to reduce the negative effects of landfilling on the environment and human health. Furthermore, it is an instrument for driving waste up the hierarchy through waste minimisation and increased levels of recycling and recovery.
DEFRA has published updated guidance on the Landfill Directive to explain how the Environmental Permitting Regulations (Schedule 10 in particular) implement the Directive.
Under the Landfill Directive, landfills have been classified into one of three types according to the waste they accept:
The definition of inert waste, for the purpose of landfills classification, is contained within Article 2(e) of the Landfill Directive.
For a definition and guidance on hazardous and non-hazardous waste, please consult this Environment Agency webpage.
Hazardous wastes should not in general be disposed mixed with non-hazardous waste (to avoid reactions which could cause long-term environmental damage) but should be separated and diverted to designated landfills. For more details download the Strategy for Hazardous waste Management in England from the DEFRA website.
It should be noted that inert waste is by definition non-reactive and therefore not harmful (non-hazardous) to the environment, whereas non-hazardous waste includes non-inert, reactive waste like organic matter in household waste (kitchen waste, garden waste…).
The Landfill Directive, the Council Decision 2003/33/EC and the Environmental Permitting (EP) Regulations set a number of procedures and criteria for waste acceptance at landfills. Producers of waste, including construction, demolition and excavation waste, need to consider those procedures and criteria to understand if, how and where their waste can be landfilled.
The principles set up for the acceptance of hazardous and non-hazardous waste at relevant landfills include ensuring that the waste will not endanger human health and the environment and satisfies the Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC). They also set strict requirements for the acceptance of certain stable, non-reactive hazardous waste into non-hazardous waste landfills.
Further information on the Waste Acceptance Criteria can be found in the Waste Acceptance Procedures and Criteria.
To implement the main aim of the Landfill Directive, the following bans have been recently introduced:
Briefing notes on the changes are provided by the Environment Agency, including guidance on treatment of different types of waste. Please read the Environment Agency's technical guidance on the surrender of permits for the permanent deposit of waste.
Mixed construction and demolition waste
Separation (segregation or sorting) is the most common treatment for mixed construction and demolition waste. Separation satisfies the three criteria that define treatment, i.e.:
Further information and examples are provided in the Guidance on waste acceptance procedures and criteria from the Environment Agency website.
Efforts should be made to ensure that the separated waste streams are recovered/recycled into the highest quality products. For information on the recycling of hard materials, please consult the Recycling Infrastructure module.