Business

EA outlines standard rules changes in consultation response

The Environment Agency (EA) has announced that it will be increasing storage limits at waste transfer stations under its new standard rules permits, with details revealed in a consultation response document on Monday (24 August).

The government consulted on the new standard rules between October 2019 and January 2020, which will cover mattresses, paper, cardboard, plastic and tyres.

EA outlines standard rules changes in consultation responseThe new standard rules permits were developed “in case government decides to change or remove certain waste exemptions” and “will provide an alternative to a bespoke permit” where operators can meet the rules, according to the EA.

The government is currently considering reforming exemptions, and so the EA has consulted on standard rules permits in case they are needed.

For mattresses, annual throughput will be raised to 4,000 tonnes from 3,5000 tonnes, while the maximum quantity of mattresses in treatment or waiting is raised to 2,500 mattresses or 80 tonnes, whichever is least. The maximum quantity of waste on site has been raised to 260 tonnes from 220 tonnes.

The maximum time mattresses will be allowed to be stored on site will increase to three months, consistent with fire prevention guidance.

For paper, card and plastic, the maximum annual throughput to 120,000 tonnes, with the previous limit of 75,000 tonnes deemed “too low to be viable”. The annual subsistence fee has been raised to £5,794 while the maximum quantity of waste on site has been raised to 2,400 tonnes from 1,500 tonnes.

Maximum storage duration has once more been increased to three months in line with the EA’s fire prevention guidance.

Regarding tyres, the new annual throughput limits have been raised to 5,000 tonnes per year and the maximum quantity of waste allowed on site has been raised to 100 tonnes. Manual sorting of tyre casings will also be permitted outside site buildings and retreading activity will be expanded to ‘cleaning, repair, re-grooving and retreading’.

Regarding all changes, the EA said: “We believe these changes are proportionate and will still prevent pollution of the environment and harm to human health.”

You can view the EA’s full response to its standard rules consultation on the government website.