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EA releases draft guidance for organics recyclers and new technologies

Fears have been raised that draft guidance on dealing with organic waste could inhibit innovation and development of technology.

Draft guidance to help recyclers use the most effective methods of dealing with organic waste has been published and sent to industry members by the Environment Agency (EA).

The Framework Guidance, prepared by technical services company Jacobs Engineering, comes after a number of operators and waste producers identified opportunities for the biological processing of feedstocks not covered by existing EA rules for biological processing.

The draft guidance specifies conditions that new treatments must meet in order to be permitted: “The treatment of non-standard or bespoke wastes must result in stabilisation and recovery of the waste or be beneficial to the process itself. The residues or outputs from the process must not increase the potential risks to human health or the environment in any further use or application.”

The guidance highlights questions the EA will use to determine whether to permit non-standard materials to be treated with these technologies.

The aim is to inform producers and operators on potential treatment routes and what investment is required to secure approval.

Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) policy manager Matt Hindle told MRW that industry members had until mid-September to comment.

Hindle said that the guidance was highly detailed and would be useful if it could clearly define what requirements had to be met by developers and operators.

However, he added: “There are concerns over whether it could be taken to be over-prescriptive in places, whether it allows sufficient room for innovation and new treatments coming through.”

But he said that ADBA would work through the guidance with the EA over the coming month.

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