Environment Agency publishes landfill guidance packs

The Environment Agency is currently delivering its new conditioning plan pack to landfill sites across England and Wales to enable landfill operators to meet regulatory requirements for the Landfill Directive.

The pack will consist of a form that must be completed by every landfill site operator that intends to continue accepting waste after 16th July, and guidance on completing the form. The EA wrote to operators last July explaining the need for a conditioning plan under the new Landfill Directive.

The form and any additional required information will constitute a site’s conditioning plan. This must include details of the site and any corrective measures the operator intends to take to help it to meet the Directive.

The guidance consists of a series of notes outlining issues such as the regulatory steps that landfill operators are likely to have to follow during the implementation of the Landfill Directive over the next few years. The notes also look at how the Agency is to undertake the process of classifying sites, and defines which sites will be covered as well as describing the three classes of landfill.

There are other notes on types of acceptable waste and acceptance procedures; definitions of what constitutes a site; implications of the Habitats Regulations; and requirements for operators who cease operating.

The EA will also run a series of workshops across the country to help operators understand how to complete the forms, and details of the events are included in the pack.

When the Landfill Regulations come into force, the EA understands that it is likely to become a criminal offence to continue accepting waste for disposal to a landfill after 16th July unless a conditioning plan has been submitted.

DEFRA is supporting the EA’s initiative, and is urging landfill operators to take advantage of the time available before the deadline to prepare their plans.

The Landfill Directive became law in 1999, and set out operational and technical requirements for disposal of waste to landfill. All member states were required to implement it from 16 July last year.

In England and Wales, landfills are currently regulated by the Environment Agency through waste management licensing under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 or the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations 2000. The requirements of the Landfill Directive will be implemented through the forthcoming Landfill Regulations 2002.

The EA has also announced that in order to implement the Landfill Directive it is running one of its largest ever recruitment drives, and is looking to employ 50 environmental protection officers, with 20 earmarked for duties directly linked to the directive.

For further information on the landfill workshops contact Mike Skinner at the Environment Agency Conditioning Plan Centre on 0117 915 6272.

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