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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Wastes with the potential to undergo significant physical, chemical or biological transformations (usually when deposited in a landfill.)

Technology which involves limited conversion of the waste (compared with incineration) allowing more processing flexibility for material recycling and associated energy recovery. Most focus has been on pyrolysis and gasification to date. See also what Gasification is and what Pyrolysis is.

Generally sand and stone material that has been used previously and recycled or recovered.

A process where biodegradable material is broken down in the absence of oxygen in an enclosed vessel. The process produces carbon dioxide, a biogas and solids/liquors known as digestate which can be used as fertiliser and compost.

The ABPO in England has now been repealed and replaced by the Animal By-Products (Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2011 as the legal means of transposing the EU regulation into national statutes. The Regulations impact upon any person or business generating, using, disposing of, storing, handling or transporting animal by-products. They categorise animal by-products into 3 separate categories depending on the risk they pose (Category 1 High Risk; Category 3 Low Risk). Catering waste, including domestic kitchen waste is category 3 material, though it is only in the scope of the Regulations in certain situations, to prevent it from being fed to livestock (which is banned under the Regulation) or such as when it is intended for composting or anaerobic digestion.

It is the procedure which establishes, for a given set of objectives, the option that provides the most benefit or least damage to the environment as a whole, at acceptable cost, in the long-term as well as the short-term. It is used extensively in decision making for procuring authorities and planning authorities.

The biodegradable fraction of Municipal Solid Waste is important as the UK has legally binding EU targets to deliver set reductions of BMW waste to landfill, which were originally addressed through individual targets on local authorities. These have now been lifted in England – placing a reliance primarily on the landfill tax and treatment systems funded under PFI funded schemes to deliver the objectives.

Biogas Gas produced by the decomposition of any biodegradable materials, especially from anaerobic digestion plants or landfill sites. Often used as a fuel for energy production or more recently has been considered for direct injection into the gas grid.

A generic name for a range of processes. In its simplest form waste is bio-stabilised followed by landfill. More complex plants provide bio-stabilisation and material recovery in different plant configurations. Generally BMT terminology is used in conjunction with AD as the biological process (which allows energy recovery but requires digestate to be landfilled or recovered for further energy recovery). MBT (mechanical biological treatment) is more generally used where aerobic digestion/enclosed composting is used to stabilise the waste to them produce recyclate, CLO and WDF.

These are all acronyms used for the same thing – a Civic Amenity Site, Household Recycling Centre, and Household Waste Recycling Centre. They are facilities provided by the Waste Disposal Authority at which local residents may deposit items of household waste that are not normally collected by the weekly collection service e.g. bulky waste items such as beds, cookers and garden waste.

Having been produced from a mixed waste stream through a MBT/BMT process, it has requirements for its further treatment and limitations on the type of land it can subsequently be applied to due to its relatively poor quality.

A plant facilitating the generation of electrical power and recovery of usable heat from a combustion process is termed a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant and it is more efficient than conventional power generation that is focused on power generation alone.

The aerobic (in the presence of oxygen from the air) biological process where biodegradable material (such as garden and kitchen waste) is converted into a stable granular material which, applied to land, improves both structure and enriches the nutrient content of soil. In some cases this is referred to as a soil improver to distinguish it from peat and other compost products that are available to horticulturalists.

They are the Government Department for Communities and Local Government in England – as providers of waste management and recycling collection and treatment service local authorities have a key role to play in service provision. This department not only has an influence on policy and approach, but is the secretariat that determines planning appeals for waste infrastructure.

They are the Government Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with primary responsibility for waste and recycling

They are the Government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

EfW is the name often given to the thermal treatment of waste under controlled conditions in which energy is produced. This energy can either be converted to electricity to boost the National Grid and/or, at times, to provide heat in the form of hot water or steam, for use by nearby developments.

ERF stands for Energy Recovery Facility, which better describes modern Energy from Waste (EfW) processes. ERF is now firmly related to Advanced Thermal Treatment (ATT) - terminology that is used to differentiate new clean technology from conventional incineration.

In the most widely used EfW process, waste is burned on a moving grate. Air is introduced above and beneath the grate in carefully controlled amounts to ensure proper combustion. Good combustion means fewer emissions. The hot gases released are directed to a boiler to recover the heat. The combustion gases are then cleaned in several stages to a strict standard set by the Waste Incineration Directive (WID), which are monitored by the Environment Agency (EA) in England. Of the material received into the ERF only around 3% will not be recovered, and will require specialist treatment. This is residual material created as part of ensuring the gases are clean.

The statutory environmental regulator in England. Established in April 1996 to combine the functions of the (former) National Rivers Authority, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Pollution and waste regulation authorities. They issue guidance, permits for waste management activities and exemptions from permitting.

An EIA is a procedure to ensure the environmental consequences of proposed projects are identified and assessed appropriately. Introduced by Directive (85/337/EEC), as amended, on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment.

The thermal breakdown of hydrocarbons into a gas via partial oxidation under the application of heat.

Hazardous Waste is waste that appears in the List of Waste (England) Regulations 2005, as amended as a six digit code with an asterisk e.g.16 06 01*. Wastes are generally hazardous if they contain or exhibit properties which are hazardous to human health or the environment e.g. toxic, corrosive, mutagenic etc. Hazardous waste requires specialist handling and treatment as defined within the Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC) and the transposed Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012.

Waste that is non-uniform in nature (e.g. mixed wastes.)

Waste that is uniform in nature (e.g. steel cans, plastic bottles.)

Waste from private households and usually collected by the local authority. The collection system may be operated directly by the local authority or on its behalf by a private contractor. Also includes bulky waste collected and waste deposited at civic amenity sites.A new term 'Collected Household Waste' has recently been introduced used as to differentiate between these streams. It is defined and measured differently from Municipal Solid Waste.

An acronym for Incinerator Bottom Ash, resulting from the controlled combustion zone of an incineration plant. Not to be confused with flue gas cleaning residues or boiler (tube) ash.

A type of controlled waste from a factory or industrial process (excluding mines and quarries.)

Chemically inert, non-combustible, non-biodegradable and non-polluting waste defined in the EU Directive on the Landfill of Waste. It is payable at the lower rate of landfill tax. New legislation has recently been introduced i to ensure that inert materials to landfill can demonstrate their inert characteristics by requiring operators of landfill sites to undertake LOI

It is a test to measure the biodegradable and/or combustible element of the waste being disposed into landfill, and is indicative of the likely pollution potential.

A group of methods in which composting takes place in a contained building, reactor, or vessel. Offers strict emissions control. Technology moved towards enclosed in-vessel schemes in the UK on account of sensitive receptor and improvements to Animal By-Products Order regulatory requirements, but with even more stringent management control requirements and a move to AD this technology has not grown significantly in recent years

It is an acronym commonly used for the Inernational Standards Organisation.

Is the international standard for Quality Management. It outlines ways to achieve as well as benchmark consistent performance and service. The ISO 9001 Standard requires that processes and procedures are put in place to improve the way a business or organisation operates at all levels and leads to improved operational performance, greater efficiency and increased profits.

Is the international standard for Environmental Management. It sets out a framework upon which an organisation can more effectively control the adverse impacts of its activities or services on the environment. It requires processes and procedures to be implemented throughout an organisation so that potential environmental aspects and their related impacts on the environment can be identified and subsequently reduced or controlled. Implementation of an environmental management system can lead to increased operating efficiencies in energy and water usage as well as reductions in waste and other such pollutants e.g. emissions to air or watercourses.

There is currently no ISO Standard for Health and Safety Management. The OHSAS 18001 standard (which is often mistaken for ISO 18001) is an internationally accepted framework for assessing and auditing occupational health and safety systems throughout an organisation. Like an ISO standard it requires processes and procedures to be implemented which identifies and controls health and safety risks to their workforce or contractors operating on their premises or whilst undertaking a job or a service on behalf of the organisation. Having an effective management system in place demonstrates an organisations commitment to the welfare of its staff and resources.

Kerbside collection is generically the collection of recyclable or compostable wastes usually from the pavement outside premises. It can include collections from commercial or industrial premises a well as from households, and typically can be collected in a mixed/comingled form (green and food together, recyclable materials together) or in a segregated form (either partly or totally segregated in separate bins, or sorted at the kerbside into a collection vehicle)

The traditional approach to waste management in the UK offered containment and stabilisation in 'Sanitary Landfill'. As new arrangements evolve to reuse, recycle, and recover waste as new raw materials and fuels, the need for landfill has dropped and will continue to drop in developed countries – but ultimately there will always be a small element of waste that will need to be landfilled in a safe and secure way. In developing countries, with limited infrastructure, the delivery of sanitary landfill would represent a huge step forwards in protecting water resources and human health.

Landfill tax for active waste is currently £82.60 and inert waste is currently £2.60 (as of 1st April 2015)

Life Cycle Assessment or LCA, is a process to evaluate the environmental burdens associated with a product, process or activity by identifying and quantifying energy and materials used and wastes released to the environment; to assess the impact of those energy and material uses and releases to the environment; and to identify and evaluate opportunities to effect environmental improvements.

A Material Recovery Facility is often referred to as a 'MRF' and is generically a facility that sorts, grades and prepares waste fractions suitable for onward dispatch to reprocessors. "Clean" MRFs accept materials from source separation schemes and are generally Dry Mixed Recyclable materials (DMR). 'Dirty' MRFs extract recyclables from mixed municipal solid waste and are generally more focused on producing a waste WDF. There are other MRFs which are focused on particular waste streams as well – for example construction and demolition and skip wastes and waste electronic equipment.

Municipal Solid Waste is a term more extensively used in the EU and includes household waste and any other wastes collected by a Waste Collection Authority, or its agents, such as municipal parks and gardens waste, beach cleansing waste, commercial waste and waste resulting from the clearance of fly-tipped materials. It can also be used to describe commercial wastes that are broadly similar in nature to household wastes.

The NFFO was established NFFO as part of the 1989 Electricity Act. NFFO in England and Wales required electricity supply companies to secure specified amounts of new generating capacity from non-fossil sources, including renewables. As many waste streams contain 'renewable content' many in turn qualified for contracts that could secure power income at enhanced rates (see Renewable Obligation Certificate)

In its desire to stimulate investment in waste infrastructure, and underpin the diversion of BMW waste from landfill, the government supported/subsidised a range of treatment technologies on a number of sites that were procured by the local authorities needing this infrastructure through a dedicated private Finance Initiative (PFI). This arrangement has now ceased, and several schemes which were to have been funded have had their funding removed after DEFRA assessed that the BMW targets could be met with the infrastructure funded to that date.

Producer responsibility enshrines the principle that the producers of goods should take greater responsibility for the management of those goods at the end of their useful life, especially for their take-back, recycling, and disposal.

A Package Recovery Note is the tradable evidence that demonstrates that an obligated company has met its responsibilities under The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997, as amended which introduces obligations on producers in this area - a direct application of the polluter pays principle. PRNs can be delivered by producing evidence of recycling for an obligated company, or can be purchased from a recycler of packaging material to deliver against the producer's obligations. Value fluctuates with the targets set for packaging waste recycling and the volume of material available in the market at any time that can have PRN's issued.

It seeks to promote the management of wastes as close to their point of production as possible.

The thermal degradation of waste in the absence of air to produce gas, liquid and solid char fractions.

Waste Derived Fuel is a mixed waste material that has been processed to produce a WDF that can be used by an EFW plant. The specification will depend upon the plant to be used, but typically at the most basic level will have had metals and inert materials removed, removal of some recyclables and shredding to a uniform size. More refined RDF will have had drying, shredding to a finer size and moisture content reduction. At the very high end of production the RDF will move towards being a SRF (see Solid Recovered Fuel).

R1 is the EU standard that requires an EFW facility to meet high levels of power conversion efficiency to classify it as a reuse facility (and may need to be a CHP facility to fully meet the guidance). Only R1 facilities can receive WDF from other EU countries for processing – export to other EU countries for 'disposal' (for example to an incinerator that does not have R1 status) is illegal.

A unit of electricity generated from eligible renewable sources and used to certify an energy supplier has sourced a set percentage of their electricity from renewables. Introduced by the Renewables Obligation Order 2002 – now being phased out to be replaced by Contract for Difference (CFD) for larger projects and Feed in Tariffs (FITs) for smaller schemes

Solid Recovered Fuel is distinct from RDF (see Refuse Derived Fuel) in that it's quality as a fuel is far higher, and is set in EU standards. It is typically used in processes that require a high quality, high calorific value, low moisture material – such as cement kilns and new-generation ATT plants

Only Scotland retains the term 'Special Waste', it has the same legal meaning as Hazardous Waste in the rest of the UK.

An acronym summarising the most Technically, Environmentally and Economically Practicable approach to local authority recyclate collections that places a requirement upon those collecting MSW to demonstrate compliance with the EU directive requiring the separate collection of recyclable materials.

Treatment involves the physical, thermal, chemical or biological processing (or combination e.g. physico-chemical) of waste to reduce volume and/or its hazardous nature. All wastes are required to have been pre-treated prior to disposal at landfill.

A Local Authority responsible for the collection of household waste in its area, see also Waste Disposal Authority.

It is the authority responsible for the management of the waste collected and delivered to it by constituent collection authorities. In the case of a single tier authority, or formal partnership, the Waste Disposal Authority (WDA) acts as one with the Waste Collections Authority(s) (WCA). The processing and/or final disposal of the waste is usually contracted to the private sector waste management industry.

A fuel that has been produced from the processing of waste into a specification for an end user. The export of WDF from the UK (primarily to the EU) requires the fuel to be sufficiently treated and processed to meet a specification of the user, which must be classified as an R1 facility. WDF is generally characterised into RDF and SRF but for the purposes of legislation remains a waste (unless stringent End of Waste Criteria can be met) and so users have to comply with the WID.

The legislation that sets the criteria for acceptable emissions from a combustion/EFW plant and enacted into England via the Waste Incineration (England and Wales) Regulations 2004 . The Industrial Emissions Directive 2010/75/EU (IED) is a recast of the WID alongside six other European Directives and is enacted via the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010, as amended. The objectives of the IED are to "reduce emissions into air, soil, water and land and to prevent the generation of waste, in order to achieve a high level of protection of the environment taken as a whole". Operator's combusting waste would need to comply with Annex VI of the IED.

Introduced under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and enforced by the Environment Agency, the main objective is to ensure activities authorised for the treatment, keeping or disposal of controlled waste are carried out in a way which protects the environment and human health. Limited arrangements are possible for the exemption from permitting, but operating without a permit or outside of the rules of the permit can lead to significant sanctions and prosecution by the Environment Agency

Is a Chartered Institution of Wastes Management accredited course. It is either delivered as a one day foundation course or as a one day advanced course. Both are accredited to the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management and give those undertaking the course an industry accredited award.

A licensed/permitted waste management facility to which waste is delivered mainly for bulking up before being removed for further processing or disposal elsewhere


Contact Information

4a Middle St,
    Taunton, Somerset. TA1 1SH
 01823 617340
info@monksleigh.com
@monksleigh
Monksleigh

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