What this document is
Explains how issues including pollution, noise, odour, litter, dust and pests will be controlled during operations at the Edmonton EcoPark. It explains how the Environment Agency and the Local Authority regulate waste management facilities and how they can prevent pollution and nuisance.
The document also includes a description of how waste management sites are designed, constructed and operated to manage pollution and nuisance.
Unregulated waste management sites can cause pollution and can be a nuisance to their neighbours. They can harm the environment, release dust and odour, generate litter and noise and can encourage pests. In order to prevent pollution and nuisance, waste management sites such as the Edmonton EcoPark, are regulated by both the Local Authority and the Environment Agency (EA).
Before a waste management site can operate it must have an environmental permit granted by the EA. To get a permit the site operator must prove that it is “fit and proper”. To be considered “fit and proper”, the operator must show that the site will have a technically competent manager in charge. Additionally, the site manager must not have been previously convicted of a relevant offence. The operator must also have sufficient funds available to repair any harm to the environment caused by the site operation.
Before the EA can grant an environmental permit it must consult with other organisations including the Local Authority and anyone that could be adversely affected by the operation. Comments made during the consultation phase must be taken into account before a permit is granted.
When an environmental permit is granted it has conditions attached. These conditions set the performance standards that the operator must meet and are intended to prevent pollution and nuisance. These standards are monitored and enforced by the EA to ensure that they are met.
The Local Authority can set additional performance standards. These can include measures to control pests, dust, noise and odour. There will not be a duplication of control between the Local Authority and the EA and they work together to control possible pollution and nuisances that could be caused by waste management sites.
The EA is the lead regulator for waste management sites and regularly inspects them to ensure that the conditions of the environmental permit are met. If necessary the EA will take enforcement action to prevent pollution or nuisance. There is a range of enforcement action that can be taken ultimately leading to prosecution through the Courts and a fine or imprisonment for the most serious offences.
The Local Authority does not conduct routine inspections but can respond to complaints and can take similar enforcement action to the EA to resolve the matter.
Operators of waste management sites regularly check for compliance with the conditions of the environmental permit and take proactive action to prevent pollution and nuisance.
Waste management sites are constructed with an impermeable floor and a sealed drainage system to contain and manage liquids. This prevents pollution entering the ground or watercourses. Any discharge to sewer is also carefully controlled.
Many waste management sites, especially those that could receive food waste, are contained within a building. This creates an enclosed space which is easier to manage. This allows noise, dust, litter, odour and pests to be more effectively controlled than at an open site.
Noise nuisance to neighbours is often managed by restricting the times when waste is allowed to be received or handled. If 24 hour operations are permitted all waste handling activities will usually be inside a specially designed building. The Local Authority and the EA take extra care to ensure that neighbours are not disturbed by noise from waste management sites.
Dust is reduced by using air filters, water sprays and by washing down hard surfaces. This also helps to prevent mud from escaping onto the public highway.
If necessary, site litter can be trapped by netting at the site boundary. This is supplemented by regular litter picking around the site and surrounding area.
Odour is further reduced by minimising the time that waste is stored on the site and if necessary by using deodorant sprays.
Birds, rodents and insects are managed pro-actively by processing waste quickly, keeping the site clean and by routine pest control measures.