The EA said its lenient stance was to help the industry adapt to the changes required in order to comply with the regulations, which state that waste must be pre-treated before going to landfill.
This can either be done by segregating materials for recycling at source where waste is produced, or ensuring it is separated at a materials recycling facility.
Should a landfill operator accept waste that has not been treated after this date, they will be considered as not complying with their permit, the letter states and dealt with in accordance with its enforcement and prosecution policy.
An EA spokesman told MRW the agency would be monitoring the compliance of landfill sites as part of its regular inspections and audits. According to the EA, feedback it has received from waste operators suggests there should not be any operational difficulties with the tougher stance.