Waste acceptance procedures for waste recovery on land

What you must include in your waste acceptance procedures and when you must use waste that has been tested.

This guidance was withdrawn on

Waste producers must classify their waste as hazardous or non-hazardous and make sure it’s described (characterised) accurately. This helps waste producers work out where they’re allowed to send waste and helps you work out if you’re allowed to accept it.

If you have a permit to recover waste at your site, you must have waste acceptance procedures in place to make sure you only accept waste that:

  • is suitable for your activity
  • is allowed by your permit
  • you have considered in your risk assessment for your permit

Your waste acceptance procedures will also help you:

  • make sure the waste doesn’t cause pollution
  • decide which wastes you will accept and from which sources
  • prevent waste arriving at your site that isn’t covered by your permit

When you apply for a bespoke waste recovery permit you must provide a copy of your waste acceptance procedures with your permit application. These procedures will usually be part of your management system.

What your waste acceptance procedures must cover

Your waste acceptance procedures must set out the:

  • evidence you need from producers to confirm the waste matches its description
  • measures you’ll take to make sure the waste is free from contamination
  • criteria you’ll use to decide whether or not to accept the waste, for example the results of waste testing
  • other criteria you’ll use to make sure you only accept waste that is suitable

You can develop your own site-specific criteria or you may be able to use the Landfill Directive’s waste acceptance criteria. Your risk assessment will tell you what is appropriate.

Your procedures must also set out what information you’ll require producers to supply about the waste. This must include the:

  • original source of the waste
  • previous use of any site generating excavation or demolition waste
  • details of any treatment used to remove unsuitable waste
  • results of any waste tests carried out

Testing waste

The waste producer must test waste and give you the results of the analysis if the waste has come from:

  • land that has or may have been contaminated by previous use
  • a waste treatment or transfer facility
  • any site where you have reason to suspect that the waste may have been contaminated

This rule also applies if you’re going to use the waste as a substitute for subsoil or topsoil.

Waste that may not need testing

Waste producers may not need to test certain types of waste apart from testing them for classification, if they:

  • come from a single source
  • are well characterised and described
  • carry no risk of contamination, for example from a site that hasn’t previously been developed
  • are a waste listed in this table

Types of waste a producer may not need to test

You may not need to test any waste described in this table apart from testing it for classification purposes:

Waste code Description
01 Waste from exploration, mining, quarrying, and physical and chemical treatment of minerals
01 01 Waste from mineral excavation
01 01 02 Waste from non metalliferous excavation
01 04 Waste from physical and chemical processing of non-metalliferous minerals
01 04 08 Waste gravel and crushed rocks other than those containing dangerous substances
01 04 09 Waste sand and clays
10 12 Waste from manufacture of ceramic goods, bricks, tiles and construction products
10 12 08 Waste ceramics, bricks, tiles and construction products (after thermal processing)
17 Construction and demolition waste (excluding excavated waste from contaminated sites)
17 01 Concrete, bricks, tiles and ceramics
17 01 01 Concrete
17 01 02 Bricks
17 01 03 Tiles and ceramics
17 01 07 Mixtures of concrete, bricks, tiles and ceramics
17 05 Soil (excluding excavated soil from contaminated sites), stones and dredging spoil
17 05 04 Soil and stones
19 Waste from waste management facilities, off-site waste water treatment plants and the preparation of water for human consumption and water for industrial use
19 12 Waste from mechanically treating waste (for example sorting, crushing, compacting, pelletising) not otherwise specified
19 12 09 Minerals (for example, sand, stones)
20 Municipal waste (household waste and similar commercial, industrial and institutional waste) including separately collected fractions
20 02 Garden and park waste (including cemetery waste)
20 02 02 Soil and stones

You can use these untested wastes if:

  • you’re allowed to accept this type of waste – your permit lists wastes you can accept
  • your risk assessment shows that it’s acceptable to do so

Testing waste yourself

You must test the waste you’re using in your recovery activity to confirm it matches the description provided by the waste producer. This is particularly important if you’re using non-inert waste, or if you think the waste may be contaminated.

You should do this between 1 and 3 times a year for each waste stream, depending on your knowledge of the waste, its variability and your risk assessment.

Published 18 October 2016