Planning Portal

PPS 11: Planning and Waste Management
Introduction: The EC Framework Directive and Landfill Directive

1.5 The EC Framework Directive on Waste and the more recent Landfill Directive, set out a common framework for action on waste by individual countries within the European Community. The Framework Directive aims at a strategic approach to waste management that protects human health and the environment by establishing an integrated and adequate network of waste facilities. To achieve this, member states are required to produce waste management plans, setting out their abilities and capacities to manage their own waste arisings, using such networks of facilities. These will enable the EC to be self-sufficient and to deal with waste as close as possible to its point of origin. The aim is also to minimise waste production and to recover as much as possible of the waste produced through recycling, recovery and reuse. This Directive is implemented through the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997.
1.6 The EC Landfill Directive sets stringent requirements for the landfilling of wastes. The key requirements of the Directive are:
  • reduction in the amount of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) to be landfilled;  
  • classification of landfill sites into three categories: Inert, Hazardous and Non Hazardous;   
  • banning of liquid wastes and certain other hazardous wastes and tyres from landfill and application of waste acceptance criteria for the various classes of landfill;   
  • treatment of wastes prior to landfill, and  
  • specific technical standards for landfill development control and monitoring, including location considerations.
At present over 90% of Northern Ireland’s waste goes to landfill. For the UK as a whole, the Directive requires reduction of the amount of BMW going to landfill to 35% of the 1995 levels by 2020.
The classification of landfill sites, waste acceptance criteria and technical standards for landfill will affect all new landfill development proposals. In addition operators of existing sites will be required to complete conditioning plans to demonstrate compliance with the standards of the Landfill Directive. Sites that cannot realistically meet the required standards will be required to close. Operators and developers should liaise with the Department and the relevant pollution control authorities as to planning permission that may be necessary for such works.
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