Guidance: Materials facilities: waste sampling and reporting from October 2024

Natural Resources Wales

June 28
15:11 2023

Materials facilities (MFs) operators should check whether the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016 will apply to them from October 2024.

All businesses affected by the regulations from October 2024 should find out what is changing and how they should prepare.

The amended regulations will mean that:

  • more MFs will have to act under the regulations
  • single waste streams will be measured and reported for the first time
  • frequency of sampling will increase to 60kg for every 75 tonnes of incoming material
  • MFs will need to measure and report on 10 types of incoming waste material instead of 4 and say where the waste material is from
  • packaging and deposit return scheme (DRS) material proportions will need to be sampled and reported
  • all the data collected (not just averages) must be reported to the regulator

Who is affected from October 2024

From October 2024, many materials facilities (MFs) will be required to act under the regulations for the first time.

This includes MFs that:

  • receive and manage at least 1,000 tonnes of household waste (or household-type waste) a year, including single waste streams or waste already separated at collection
  • consolidate or bulk waste (for example, bulking or transfer stations) from multiple suppliers
  • sort waste into specified output materials, such as aluminium cans or cardboard

MFs will need to self-assess to find out if the regulations apply to them.

Notifying the regulator

If youre an MF operator affected for the first time in October 2024, you will need to notify the regulator in writing. The regulator is:

  • the Environment Agency if youre in England
  • Natural Resources Wales if youre in Wales

Youll need to self-assess at the start of every 3-month reporting period.

Youll need to notify the regulator at the end of your first 3-month reporting period if both of the following apply:

  • your type of MF is included in the regulations for the first time
  • your assessment shows youre likely to receive a minimum of 1,000 tonnes of household or household-type waste in the next 12 months

For example, if you do your first assessment in the reporting period starting in October 2024, youll need to notify the regulator before the end of December 2024.

You do not need to continue notifying the regulator after the first time.

If your quarterly self-assessment shows that youre no longer likely to receive at least 1,000 tonnes of waste over the next 12 months, you must tell the regulator that you are no longer affected by the regulations.

Reporting periods

There are 4 reporting periods in a year. They are:

  • 1 January to 31 March
  • 1 April to 30 June
  • 1 July to 30 September
  • 1 October to 31 December

Materials facilities that remain outside the regulations

MFs are outside the regulations if any of the following apply:

  • they only deal with waste electrical goods
  • they only receive and consolidate waste from one supplier (for example, one local authoritys waste)
  • they are facilities provided by councils for the recycling and disposal of household waste (for example, household waste recycling centres)

What to measure and record from October 2024

During every 3-month reporting period, MFs must measure and record:

  • weight of total waste material received from each supplier (input material)
  • name and address of the supplier of each load
  • date each suppliers load was received
  • weight of material leaving the site (output material), the date it leaves and its destination
  • sampling measurements for input materials and, if necessary, output materials

This information must be reported to regulators at the end of the reporting period.

Input sampling

Input sampling is the process of taking samples of incoming waste to measure its composition and quality. From October 2024, you must carry out input sampling if you:

  • consolidate 2 or more suppliers waste materials
  • sort waste into specified output material before sending it somewhere else to be prepared for reuse or recycling

Youll need to take one 60kg sample for every 75 tonnes of waste received from each supplier.

You will need to measure and record:

  • the composition of each sample
  • the total number of samples taken from each supplier
  • the total weight in kg of all the samples from each supplier
  • the amount of each material type as a proportion of the sample its part of
  • the proportion of each material type (excluding glass) identified as packaging or drinks containers that are part of the deposit return scheme (DRS)

Categories of waste material

You will need to identify the waste within a sample as being in one of 3 categories of material:

  • target material material that needs to be separated out from other waste material or consolidated into bulk quantities of a specific material
  • non-target material material that can be recycled but will not be separated or consolidated
  • non-recyclable material material that cannot be recycled

10 input material types

From October 2024, waste material within a sample must be identified as one of 10 input material types. (Currently there are 4 types.)

The 10 types of input material from October 2024 are:

  • glass
  • aluminium
  • steel
  • paper
  • card
  • plastic bottles
  • plastic pots, tubs and trays
  • film or other flexible plastic
  • other plastic
  • fibre-based composite material

Packaging and deposit return scheme (DRS) materials

In your input and output sampling, you must measure and record both:

  • the proportion that is packaging
  • the proportion that is DRS packaging

Glass packaging and DRS

You do not need to routinely measure and record glass packaging.

However, regulators can request input and output sampling of glass packaging. They will have to:

  • give MFs at least 4 weeks notice before the start of the reporting period in which measurements will be taken
  • specify the minimum number of samples for each supplier

MFs will need to keep records of their methodologies when taking and measuring samples. This is to make sure that samples accurately reflect the composition of the overall waste material.

Output sampling

MFs that sort packaging waste into specified output material will need to record the grade of the specified output material, with reference to the following materials:

  • glass
  • paper
  • card
  • aluminium
  • steel
  • plastic
  • fibre-based composite

Grading is a description based on the specification of the material. For example, grades of glass may be based on colour, such as clear flint glass. Grades of plastic may be based on polymers, such as coloured high density polyethylene (HDPE) bottles.

After grading the material, MFs will need to take a sample, then measure and record:

  • total number of all samples taken in a reporting period
  • total weight in kg of all samples taken in a reporting period
  • date sample was taken
  • whether the material is target, non-target or non-recyclable
  • proportions of packaging and DRS material
  • details of sampling methodology used, to show how MFs ensure samples accurately reflect the composition of the total waste material

Frequency and size of sampling

The frequency and size of sampling depends on the specified output material. When there are 2 or more materials in a specified output, use the frequency and size of the material that has the lowest figure in the minimum

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