Burning waste

Do I need a permit for burning waste?

Guide

In most circumstances you need a pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit, waste management licence or a registered waste exemption for burning waste. You must have the correct permits, licences or exemptions in place before you burn waste.

Most activities that involve burning waste are subject to the Waste Incineration Directive (WID). Even if the WID does not apply to your plant, you may still require a PPC permit or waste management licence if the capacity of the plant exceeds set limits, or a registered waste exemption.

Depending on the capacity of your plant and whether you are burning hazardous or non-hazardous waste, your permit will be from either the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) or your district council.

Your plant may also need to comply with other legal requirements, such as the Animal By-Products (ABP) Regulations.

Burning waste in a WID plant

If you burn waste that is subject to the WID, you must have a WID-compliant Part A PPC permit for your incinerator - see requirements of the Waste Incineration Directive.

Your permit will list the types and quantities of waste that you are allowed to burn. It will also include operating conditions, emission limits and monitoring requirements. You must comply with the conditions of your permit.

Burning non-hazardous waste in a plant excluded from the WID

If you incinerate non-hazardous waste in a plant that is excluded from the WID, which has the capacity to burn no more than 50 kilograms per hour, your activity may be covered by a paragraph 29 waste exemption - see exemptions for burning waste. If you cannot meet the requirements of the exemption you must have a PPC permit or waste management licence.

If you incinerate non-hazardous waste in a plant that is excluded from the WID on premises which have the capacity to burn between 50 kilograms and 1 tonne per hour, you will need a Part C PPC permit.

If you incinerate non-hazardous waste in a plant that is excluded from the WID, which has the capacity to burn 1 tonne or more per hour, you may need a Part A PPC permit.

Burning hazardous waste in a plant excluded from the WID

If you incinerate hazardous waste in a plant that is excluded from the WID, regardless of the quantities or capacities involved, you will need a Part A PPC permit.

Burning waste gases

If you incinerate gaseous compounds containing halogens (other than incidentally when burning solid or liquid waste) you will need a Part A PPC permit. You also need a Part A PPC permit to burn gaseous compounds containing nitrogen and sulphur.

Other parts of your PPC permit or waste management licence covering combustion activities may apply to your plant.

Burning waste in the open

You must not burn waste in the open unless you have a waste management licence or a registered waste exemption. You must not burn waste material that produces dark smoke - see controls on burning waste in the open.

Incinerating animal carcasses

Your incinerator is excluded from the WID if it burns only whole animal carcasses, parts of animal carcasses that have been cut up for ease of transport or to make incineration easier, or unprocessed parts of carcasses. If it is excluded from the WID you will not need a WID-compliant permit. However, you may still require a PPC permit or a waste management licence, depending on the size of the activity.

If your incinerator burns only animal carcasses, and has a capacity of:

  • less than 50 kilograms per hour and a net rated thermal input of less than 0.3 megawatts, you may qualify for a paragraph 29 exemption from waste management licensing
  • between 50 kilograms and 1 tonne per hour and less than 10 tonnes per day, you need a Part C PPC permit
  • more than 1 tonne per hour or more than 10 tonnes per day you require a Part A PPC permit

If you are incinerating animal carcasses along with other types of waste, the WID may apply and so you may need a WID-compliant permit.

If you have an on-farm incinerator burning only whole carcasses, you must meet specific standards set out under ABP legislation and the incinerator must be approved by the Department of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs (DAERA).

If you are incinerating carcasses along with other types of waste you will need a PPC permit, waste management licence, or you may qualify for a paragraph 29 waste exemption. You will also need the relevant ABP authorisation from DAERA.

If you have a WID-compliant permit you do not need a separate ABP authorisation from DAERA.