Revised Waste Treatment BREF published

Following a lengthy revision process, the full revised Waste Treatment BREF was published in October. You can download the full BREF here. The BREF is the Best Available Techniques (BAT) reference document for Waste Treatment and has been updated following the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED).The BREF includes the previously published BAT conclusions, which can be found here as a stand alone document.   

This is an important document that applies to all composting and AD sites that are operating as installations or with PPC permits (i.e. have a capacity of over 75t/day for composting or over 100t/day for AD). 

The BREF is an extensive document with 850 pages. It is split into the chapters below. Chapters 2, 4 and 6 are the most relevant for biological treatment.

Chapter 1 - General information on the waste treatment sector

Chapter 2 - Processes and techniques commonly used for waste treatment

Chapter 3 - Mechanical treatment of waste

Chapter 4 - Biological treatment of waste

Chapter 5 - Physico-chemical treatment of waste

Chapter 6 - BAT conclusions

While the main aim of the BREF is to reduce emissions from different waste treatments, other environmental issues – such as energy efficiency, resource efficiency (water consumption, reuse and recovery of materials), prevention of accidents, noise and odour, management of residues – are also covered.

We have prepared a summary for members of the BAT conclusions that relate to composting and AD sites, please see here

How soon do sites have to comply?

The BAT conclusions provide national authorities with the technical basis for setting permit conditions for installations. There is a 4 year period for member states to implement the conclusions for existing waste treatment installations (i.e. first permitted before the publication of the BAT conclusions). New installations (i.e. first permitted after the publication of the BAT conclusions) need to comply immediately with the new requirements.


What about Brexit?

The Government have released a paper on what the plans are for Industrial Emission standard in the event of a 'no-deal' Brexit. Full details here but in essence the UK government would make secondary legislation to ensure the existing BAT conclusions continue to have effect in UK law after we leave the EU, to provide powers to adopt future BAT Conclusions in the UK and ensure the devolved administrations maintain powers to determine BAT through their regulatory regimes.


Please contact Jenny if you require any further information

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