The Landfill Directive
The EU Landfill Directive (Council Directive 99/31/EC on the landfill of waste) aims to prevent or reduce as far as possible the negative effects on the environment from the landfilling of waste, by introducing stringent technical requirements for waste and landfills and setting targets for the reduction of biodegradable municipal waste going to landfill.
The Landfill Directive (the Directive) was published in the Official Journal of the European Communities on 16 July 1999(OJ L182, 16.7.99). The aims of the Directive are sought through specifying uniform technical standards at EC level and the setting out of requirements for the location, management, engineering, closure and monitoring of landfills. The Directive also includes requirements relating to the characteristics of the waste to be landfilled and sets targets for member states to reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste sent to landfill.
In 2003, a European Council Decision was published establishing criteria and procedures for the acceptance of waste at landfills pursuant to Article 16 and Annex II of the Directive. Council Decision 2003/33/EC was published in the Official Journal of the European Communities on 16 January 2003 (OJ L11, 16.1.2003).
The Food Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015
The Department of the Environment has made The Food Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 which came into operation on 14th February 2015.
The regulations provide for the separate collection and subsequent treatment of food waste and requires district councils to provide receptacles for the separate collection of food waste from households, places a duty on food businesses producing in excess of 5kg of food waste per week to present food waste for separate collection and places a duty on businesses to ensure food waste is not deposited in a lateral drain or sewer.
The regulations place a duty on those who transport food waste to collect and transport such waste separately from other waste to ensure that separately collected food waste is not mixed with other waste to the extent that would hamper future recycling. The landfilling of separately collected food waste is prohibited from 1 April 2015.
The Regulations can be accessed from the link below:
The requirements of the Landfill Directive were transposed through the Landfill Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003, the Waste and Emissions Trading Act 2003 and the Landfill Allowances Scheme (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2004 (as amended). See below for links to each of these pieces of legislation.
This legislation introduces permits to create and operate a landfill, and sets out which categories of waste can be accepted at each class of landfill site.
This legislation mends 2003/496 (above) with details of what wastes can and cannot be accepted at particular landfill sites.
This legislation amends procedures for closing a landfill and requirements for hazardous waste landfill applications.
This legislation also amends 2003/496 (above) to update the criteria for granular and monolithic waste to be accepted for landfill, plus monitoring and testing requirements.
This legislation also amends 2003/496 (above) to ensure that the closure and after care provisions apply to all landfill sites in Northern Ireland which closed after 16 July 2001.
This legislation also amends 2003/496 (above) to allow the temporary storage of metallic mercury as waste for more than 12 months. The Regulations also transpose Council Directive 2011/97/EU which amends Council Directive 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste as regards specific criteria for the storage of metallic mercury considered as waste.
- Council Directive 2011/97/EU
- Council Directive 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste
- The Waste Batteries and Accumulators (Treatment and Disposal) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009 SR159
These Regulations also amend 2003/496 (above) to prevent the disposal of waste automotive and industrial batteries in landfill.
Redefinition of municipal waste
As stated earlier, the Landfill Directive set targets for EU Member States to reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal (BMW) waste sent to landfill. These targets were transposed into legislation by the Waste and Emissions Trading Act 2003.(WET Act)
Until recently, municipal waste covered by the WET Act has been defined as waste collected under arrangements made by local authorities (district councils). The UK has agreed with the European Commission that this approach is too narrowly focused, and should include more commercial waste collected by the private sector. This new interpretation meant that the UK landfill diversion targets needed to be revised, and new terms needed for the purposes of UK landfill allowance schemes.
The Landfill (Maximum Landfill Amount) Regulations 2011 set the revised national targets. The WET Act 2003 (Amendment) Regulations 2011 specified the part of the new interpretation of “municipal waste” that is covered by the Northern Ireland Landfill Allowance Scheme (NILAS) and similar schemes in GB.
- The Landfill (Maximum Landfill Amount) Regulations 2011
- The WET Act 2003 (Amendment) Regulations 2011
- Northern Ireland Landfill Allowance Scheme (NILAS)
Should you require further information, please feel free to contact: