SEPA regulates waste management activities in Scotland through Waste Management Licences (WMLs) and Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) permits. Lower risk activities, such as some reclamation and recycling activities, are exempt from full waste management licensing, but must still be registered with SEPA. Further information on SEPA’s regulatory role is available from our waste regulation pages.
Operators of most waste management activities are required to report waste data to SEPA on a quarterly or annual basis as specified in their licence, permit or exemption. Copies of the standard return forms used to submit the data and guidance on how to submit the data correctly can be downloaded from the relevant pages in this section.
Once these statutory waste data are collected and quality assured by the Data Unit, they are used for two main purposes:
- To check compliance with the licence or permit
- To help fulfil SEPA’s statutory and non-statutory reporting obligations.
Local authorities are also required to report to SEPA about the waste they manage. This is done through an online reporting system called WasteDataFlow (WDF). Local authority waste data are verified on an annual basis by the Data Unit and are used to help fulfil Scotland’s reporting obligations to the Scottish Government and Europe.