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Waste Framework Directive

Inspections and enforcement

Project: “Services to support Member States' enforcement actions and inspections concerning the application of EU waste legislation”

In 2011, DG Environment of the European Commission launched a study aiming at gathering from the EU Member States examples of best practice in permitting and inspection related to the enforcement of certain pieces of waste legislation, and preparing, on this basis, a set of recommendations and guidance documents. The study focused on the following EU waste legislation:

  • Waste Framework Directive (WFD) (2008/98/EC);
  • Landfill Directive (1999/31/EC), together with the WAC Decision (2003/33/EC);
  • RoHS Directive (2002/95/EC to be replaced by 2011/65/EU);
  • WEEE Directive (2002/96/EC to be replaced in short notice).

The study resulted in preparing a set of guidance and best practice documents which are presented on this website. An expert workshop on these issues was held in Brussels on 12 May 2010. Please note that many recommendations provided for on this website do not stem directly from EU legislation, but have been elaborated by the consultant on the basis the examples of national implementation. These documents have been prepared for information purposes. Therefore, they do not represent an official position of the Commission, nor do they anticipate such a position. 

Guidance on permitting and inspection of waste management operations

The guidance document is mainly addressed to the competent authorities involved in permitting and inspections. It covers both theoretical and practical aspects of permitting and inspections in the Member States.

-> Download guidance document

Practical manual on permitting and inspection of waste management operations

The purpose of the manual is to accompany the guidance document by providing information on a more practical level. The key element of the manual is the provision of 20 best practice examples, elaborated on the basis of existing permitting and inspection practice applied within the EU Member States. Further tools were elaborated to enhance the process of permitting and inspection, i.e. permitting and inspection checklists, Frequently Asked Questions, overview tables of legal obligations, sample letter announcing inspections.

-> Download practical manual

Best Practice on permitting and inspection of waste management operations

In order to illustrate the ways of good implementation of waste legislation, in particular the effective procedures for permitting and inspections of waste management operations, 20 best practice examples were elaborated based on existing measures within EU Member States. Each best practice example is presented as a factsheet (to download, click on title of a factsheet in the table below).


Nr

Title

Legislation covered

EU MS

Best practice examples on permitting (click on title to download factsheet)

1

Waste permitting - Fixed set of conditions applicable to all waste operators

WFD, Landfill Dir.

BE (FL)

2

Permitting and setting of conditions for smaller waste treatment plants

WFD

AT

3

Operational Risk Appraisal Scheme (Opra) – Risk Assessment Tool

WFD

UK

4

Risk-based approach to exempt waste operations

WFD

UK

5

Compliance Assessment Scheme

WFD, Landfill Dir.

UK

6

Permitting checklist for WEEE primary treatment facilities

WEEE Directive

DE

7

Methods waste licensing and permitting - public access to licensing files

WFD, Landfill Dir.

IE

8

Waste prevention in the environmental permit procedure

WFD

FI

9

Cooperation with authorities and plant operators

WFD

AT

10

Trainings in waste permitting (and inspections)

WFD

EE

Best practice examples on inspection (click on title to download factsheet)

1

Methods for risk based classification and ranking of inspection objects

WFD

SE

2

Waste stream based risk analyses

WFD

NL

3

Administrative structure to enforce inspections

WFD, Landfill Dir.

PL

4

Guidelines for routine inspections of waste management facilities

WFD

DE

5

Check list for inspections of waste management operations

WFD

LT

6

Content, storing and accessibility of enforcement information including inspection/audit/monitoring reports

WFD

IE

7

WEEE inspection – upstream and downstream inspection

WEEE Directive

BE (FL)

8

RoHS enforcement- free sampling and destructive analysis of EEE

RoHS Directive

NL

9

WEEE enforcement - addressing “leakage” in the take-back scheme

WEEE Directive

NL

10

RoHS enforcement - mixed system of testing and awareness raising

RoHS Directive

UK

Checklists for Permit Conditions and Inspections

The following checklists intend to give both permitting and inspection authorities an indication on which conditions to include in a permit and what to check when inspecting waste treatment facilities. Taking the aforementioned into account, the reference for elaborating a more specific checklist for a facility should always be the permit. However, the purpose of the following checklist is to include the most important aspects on:

  • The technical requirements of the facility;
  • The acceptance, handling and storage of waste;
  • Operational aspects;
  • Emissions into the environment (air, water, etc).

It is recommended to use the checklists as indicative lists, to be filled up with additional conditions/aspects regarding the particular technique/operation and used for inspections during the operation phase together with the information contained in the permit.

Not all waste management operations/techniques could be covered by a separate checklist. Therefore, operations have been grouped following the waste chain.

Nr

Checklist for permit conditions and inspection (click on title to download checklist)

Included operations

1

Waste collection and transfer stations

  • Reverse logistic operations (take-back system)
  • Collection of MSW, Separated collection
  • Waste transport
  • Preliminary/temporary storage, Waste transfer
  • Waste broking/dealing

2

Pre-treatment facilities

  • Sorting/Separation
  • Stabilisation, Solidification, Shredder, MBT
  • Blending or mixing
  • Biotechnical treatment facilities
  • Organic physico-chemical treatment
  • Inorganic physic- chemical treatment

3

WEEE treatment facilities

  • WEEE dismantling, Storage of WEEE
  • Removal, disassembly and separation
  • Treatment of WEEE

4

Preparing for re-use facilities

  • Checking, Cleaning , Reparation

5

Compost facilities

  • Composting

6

Material recovery facilities

  • In particular glass, plastic, paper, metals

7

Incinerators

  • Incineration with energy recovery (power plants)
  • Non-hazardous waste incineration
  • Hazardous waste incineration

8

Landfills

  • Inert , non-hazardous, hazardous waste landfilling

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs are prepared to provide information on legal, procedural and practical aspects of permit and inspection issues in a condensed format headed with questions. The FAQs are meant to provide a basic level of information about the EU legal requirements and on how to implement them on a Member State level.

Expert workshop

The expert workshop addressed primarily administrative bodies involved in the enforcement of waste management permitting, inspection and controls at national and regional/local level. Further key stakeholders and NGOs on EU and national levels were also invited. Best practice examples from the Member States were presented and discussed. A further purpose was to streamline the content of the guidance and manual in order to meet the needs of the authorities involved.

-> Workshop agenda

-> Workshop minutes

-> Workshop presentations