If you apply for a permit to deposit waste for recovery, you must send us a waste recovery plan so we can assess it.

Your plan must demonstrate that your activity is a waste recovery activity, not a disposal activity.

We recommend that you send us your plan before you apply for a permit. 

If you send it to us at the same time as your permit application and we do not agree that your activity is waste recovery, we will refuse your permit application.

What your plan must include

Your plan must include any evidence that you:

  • will benefit financially or commercially by using waste material instead of non-waste, or
  • have funding to pay for both using the waste and ongoing costs
  • have obligations (say, from a planning authority) to complete the scheme, or
  • are obliged to achieve certain results by completing the scheme
  • intend to use waste that is suitable for the specific purpose

You must provide evidence to show how your scheme will be:

  • designed and constructed
  • fit for purpose

Financial gain or other worthwhile benefit

You may provide evidence to show that if you used non-waste, you would benefit from a net financial gain or other worthwhile benefit. Your waste recovery plan must include:

  • details of the scheme that will provide financial benefit or other worthwhile benefit
  • your expected income or capital gain or other worthwhile benefit
  • all the costs of generating this income or capital gain, or delivering other worthwhile benefit, including:
    • all the costs of carrying out the scheme with non-waste
    • any ongoing operating costs

Your waste recovery plan must show that it would be commercially or otherwise worthwhile to complete the scheme using non-waste. For example, it would show that using non-waste produces a meaningful financial gain or is affordable and otherwise worthwhile.

How to demonstrate financial gain or other benefit

‘Financial gain’ means the profit and payback period would make it worth your while to incur the full cost of using non-waste, taking into account normal commercial considerations such as the degree of risk. If the method of funding for the scheme is a favourable rate loan, you may need to provide an assessment of the financial viability of the scheme with a market rate loan. Your assessment must confirm that the scheme could go ahead with non-waste.

‘Market rate’ is the standard rate of interest accepted in an industry for a specific type of transaction. By its nature, it’s a figure that changes.

A ‘favourable rate’ loan is when funding is provided at a lower rate of interest than the market rate. Often this is because the lender has an existing business relationship with the borrower. They may accept a greater level of risk or longer repayment period than an independent lender.

‘Otherwise worthwhile’ means there are indirect financial gains. For example, if you wanted to improve a flood defence system with non-waste, the investment may only pay for itself over a long period but you would avoid the potential disruption of a flood.

We will only consider the income, capital gain or other worthwhile benefit received by the person who covers the cost of using non-waste. For example, if you are going to level land to sell to a developer, you will not be able to include the profits the developer might make in your financial justification. However, if your work will increase the value of the land before sale, then you can include this gain as part of your evidence that the scheme is commercially worthwhile.

Applying as a contractor

If you apply as a contractor, you need to provide the same evidence but show that the operation would be commercially worthwhile for the person employing you.

Funding to use non-waste materials

If you would have used non-waste material without any financial benefit, you may provide evidence in your waste recovery plan that you have secured funding to cover all the costs of carrying out the scheme with non-waste, including any ongoing operating costs. For example, you are a non-profit organisation and have grant-funding to deliver a specific scheme.

You must include evidence that:

  • the scheme falls within your area of responsibility or activity
  • the scheme would result in a benefit that is proportionate to the scheme
  • you have secured the funding you need to cover the cost of using non-waste, and any ongoing operating costs

Evidence of your obligation to complete the work

You must provide evidence of your obligation to carry out the scheme or achieve certain results.

This could be because a regulator or planning authority has imposed a requirement on you to do the work whether you use waste or non-waste. For example, you could be a quarry operator who is required by planning conditions of an existing planning permission to restore it according to an approved plan.

This is not the same as having a planning permission which allows you to do certain work but does not require you to do it.

If there is an existing planning condition or obligation we will look at all the available information. This may include:

  • the extent to which the local planning authority was directly involved in the design of the scheme when planning was granted and the condition was imposed
  • whether the local planning authority would be likely to agree anything significantly different

Specific obligations

If you have specific obligations to complete the scheme you propose, we will normally accept recovery where your waste recovery plan includes:

  • evidence of the obligation
  • plans and cross sections that show your proposal matches the obligation on you
  • evidence that the waste is suitable

General obligations

Some obligations require you to achieve certain results, but do not specify exactly how you must do that.

If you are generally obliged to do something, your waste recovery plan must demonstrate why you would meet that obligation by carrying out the scheme proposed. It must also show how your proposed scheme meets your obligation.

For example, if you have a general obligation to reduce noise levels at a property, you do not necessarily need to build a noise bund. You could reduce noise by moving the noise source away from the property or by changing your operation. In those cases you do not need to deposit any material.

You would then have to show why you would meet your general obligation by spending money on importing non-waste material, rather than an alternative.

If you do not have specific obligations to do the work

If you are not obliged to carry out the scheme your plan must include evidence for:

  • the purpose of the work
  • quantity of waste to be used
  • how sustainable the work is

Purpose of the work

You need to clearly describe the function of your proposed scheme. Show that you are carrying out the scheme to meet a genuine need.

Your evidence must set out:

  • how the scheme will be carried out and completed
  • why the scheme is needed
  • how the scheme will meet that need

Quantity of waste to be used

You must provide evidence to show that you:

  • will only use the amount of waste needed to carry out the function that would otherwise be provided by non-waste
  • have considered alternative proposals that could use a smaller amount of waste to achieve the same function

You must provide plans and cross sections showing the original and planned final ground levels. The final ground level (contour) plan will be included in your permit by reference to the approved waste recovery plan. It will define the upper limit of the permitted activity.

Drawings must be of a suitable scale. Levels must be shown relative to ordnance datum.

How sustainable your scheme is

You must demonstrate how your finished scheme will not cause pollution or any other environmental problems. It must not:

  • harm human health
  • cause a nuisance to others
  • harm the quality of the environment
  • cause soil erosion or increased risk of flooding

To help demonstrate that the scheme is sustainable, you should refer to the conceptual site model you developed to support the risk assessment process.

Evidence that the waste is suitable

Your waste recovery plan must confirm that a waste is suitable, in principle, for the proposed use.

Waste types we normally accept

Find a list of waste types and activities we would normally accept for a permitted waste recovery activity

If you want to deposit waste not included in our list

If your proposed waste type or activity is not included in our list, your plan needs to include the following:

  • information and evidence about the chemical, physical and engineering properties of the waste you want to use
  • evidence that the waste is suitable for the intended purpose and will not cause pollution
  • evidence that the specification of the waste you intend to use is comparable to the non-waste material you are replacing. In some cases, it may be appropriate not to use a like-for-like replacement, for example, if you plan to construct a noise bund instead of an acoustic wall.

Your evidence must be provided by an appropriately qualified person. This will be someone who has expert knowledge of the type of work you want to do and the environmental risks involved.

If you are building a bund or embankment, an appropriately qualified person is likely to be a geotechnical engineer. If you are building a road or development platform, an appropriately qualified person may be a civil engineer.  If your scheme is small and straightforward, an appropriately qualified person could be an experienced practitioner rather than a graduate or chartered engineer.

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