What is the purpose of a waste facility permit?

A waste facility permit is a legal requirement in Ireland.  

In accordance with Section 39 of the Waste Management Act 1996, as amended, a waste authorisation is required in order for any person or company to conduct the treatment/storage/recycling/recovery or disposal of waste.

A waste authorisation may be in the form of either:

  • A Certificate of Registration (COR); or 
  • A Waste Facility Permit (WFP); or
  • Waste Licence

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for issuing and regulating Waste Licences, whilst local authorities are the regulatory authority for Certificates of Registration and Waste Facility Permits.

The type of authorisation which is required is determined by sectoral activity and various thresholds as presented in environmental regulations.

Waste is legally defined as meaning “any substance or object which the holder discards or intends or is required to discard.”  There are many sources of wastes such as the construction, agriculture and automotive sector, that have the potential to cause environmental pollution if not managed correctly.  

The following are just a few examples of where a WFP/COR is required in order for a person/company to accept and recycle/recover/treat/store or dispose of waste.

  • Soil and stone arising from site clearance and excavations from a building site.
    • Farmers and landowners are often willing to accept this material in order to raise land levels for the purpose of improving the quality of agricultural land.  However it is important to understand that this material is considered a waste, as it has been discarded from a construction site, therefore any person proposing to accept this waste material to raise/improve farmland, must first secure a WFP/COR from the relevant local authority.
  • Demolished rubble/concrete/brick/masonry/tiles.
    • As above, once a builder has discarded such material from a construction site, that material is considered a waste, therefore any person seeking to accept this waste with the intention of using this waste for development such as road building or similar, must secure a WFP/COR from the relevant local authority.
  • Dismantling and reusing car parts.
    • Once a car is no longer considered roadworthy, that vehicle is considered a waste.  Therefore it is illegal to store or stockpile such vehicles at a location, and/or to strip the car of parts for reuse/sale, without holding the correct waste authorisation from the relevant local authority.

The type of authorisation required depends on factors such as the tonnage of waste to be handled at facility, and the waste types to be processed.

The local authority cannot tell an applicant what level of authorisation and class of waste activity(s) that a particular applicant requires. Therefore, if an applicant is unable to interpret the relevant regulations, it is strongly advisable that they should retain the services of a suitably qualified person to assist in the application process.

  • It is important to note that a person/company must secure an appropriate waste authorisation in advance of commencing a waste activit.
  • Failure to comply with the Waste Management Act 1996, is an offence and therefore subject to legal action, potential fines and possible other enforcement actions, resulting in considerable expenses incurred by the landowner and/or operator.

A register of all waste facility permits and certificates of registration issued by local authorities and the NWCPO  (National Waste Collection Permit Office)  under the Waste Management (Facility Permit and Registration) Regulations, S.I. No. 821 of 2007 (as amended) documents:

  • The names and addresses of all authorised waste facilities;
  • The waste activities which are authorised; and
  • The types of waste which may be received at the facility.

Examples of activities which require a waste facility permit or a certificate of registration include 

  • Recycling of construction & demolition waste and other wastes 
  • The reception and storage of waste
  • Waste transfer stations
  • Bring Banks
  • Land reclamation/development/Landfill
  • Car dismantling
  • Composting centres
  • Hazardous waste

ECOS regularly prepares applications and renewal applications for waste facility permits and assist our clients to comply with the terms of their facility permits.

For a consultation on waste facility permits please contact ECOS