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Material Facilities Regulatory Guidance

Guidance to waste facility operators on assessment, notification, sampling, data recording and reporting


The Environmental Permitting Amendment (England and Wales) 2014 Regulations Schedule 9A established a new category of permitted facilities, Material Facilities.

These are facilities that accept greater than 1,000 tonnes per year of a mixture of the following materials; paper, glass, metals and plastics, for sorting for the purpose of recycling. For these facilities the regulations introduce a variation of permit conditions automatically and there is an additional subsistence fee.

This variation requires the operator to sample incoming and outgoing wastes and analyse the composition of the samples and report the results to the regulator, which is us if your facility is in Wales, the Environment Agency for facilities in England.

The regulations require the site operator to self assess whether their facility falls within the definition of Material Facility as set out in the regulations. In the first instance the assessment requires to be done before 1 October 2014 and if the facility falls within the definition on the regulations, the operator must notify the regulator by the end of December 2014.

If the facility did not fall within the definition of a Material Facility in the first assessment the assessment will need to be repeated, if the facility changes the nature or scale of its operations and the reassessment needs to be done at the beginning of a quarterly reporting period.

If following the reassessment process the facility falls within the definition of a Materials facility in the regulations the notification to the regulator must be done by the end of that quarterly period.

For facilities in Wales send your notification to waste.returns@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk. When notifying, please put “MF Notification” followed by the site name in the email or letter subject line. You must give: permit number, operator name, site name, site address including post code and your contact details including a telephone number in case we need to check anything with you.

Notification continues until it is withdrawn by the operator. An operator may withdraw notification at any time if circumstances change and the facility is not longer likely to fulfil the definition of a Materials facility within the regulations.

From October 2014 operators will have to sample and measure mixed waste inputs and recycling output streams, in accordance with requirements set in the regulations amendment and explained in guidance published by the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

There is guidance available from the Waste and Recycling Action Programme (WRAP) website on how to do the required sampling and analysis of composition under the regulations; these are the minimum acceptable standards.

To make the required data returns you are required to use the returns waste operator site returns.

We will inspect Materials Facilities specifically to check the sampling procedures that have been put in place and audit the data sent to us against what is observed on site, we will arrange one visit with the operator to enable our officers to observe the sampling and compositional analysis on site to verify that the appropriate standards are being used and advise where improvements are required.

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