A sophisticated criminal cyber-attack has had a major impact on the way SEPA works. We are working through all the services that we provide to understand what we need to do in the short and longer term to restore services. We are approaching this work with a sense of urgency.
- Check the service status
- Approach to Delivery of Services Until June 2021
- Information about the cyber-attack
Service status update 6 May 2021: Permitting
What are we able to do now?
Please see below for the services we are now running in relation to:
- Existing private sewage treatment systems (septic tanks);
- Complex Waste Management Exemptions;
- Applications under Environmental Authorisations (Scotland) Regulations (EASR) and the Radioactive Substances Act 1993;
- Waste Carrier Licences;
- Marine and freshwater pen fish farm authorisations;
- Water Engineering authorisations;
- Construction Site Licenses (run-off permits);
- PPC Part B authorisations;
- Trans-frontier Shipment of Waste.
We are working hard to re-establish the ability to receive, verify and determine applications for Waste Management Licences, Controlled Activities in the Water Environment which are not listed above, and PPC Part A. For now, we remain unable to undertake this work.
What should you do now?
We are only able to accept applications listed below; please do not submit any other type of application at this time and check regular updates.
Contact us if you had submitted an application prior to 24 December 2020 and have not yet received an update on your application.
Further information on how we are working with the waste sector at this time can be found at on our regulatory approach waste website.
Next update: 14 May 2021
Landfill is the disposal of waste which cannot be reused, recycled or recovered, into or onto land. It forms the lowest aspect of the European Waste Framework Directive’s waste hierarchy.
The EU’s Landfill Directive aims to reduce the amount of waste to landfill by finding ways to recover value from waste and develop more sustainable management practices.
Disposal to landfill is the least preferred option in the waste hierarchy and should only be used as a last resort after re-use, recycling and recovery options, as an escalating scale of taxation on materials being sent to landfill has made this an increasingly expensive option.
- How is waste sent to landfill dealt with?
- How is landfill regulated?
- How are permits issued?
- Technical guidance
- Contact us
Waste taken to landfill is managed to prevent odour, litter and pest infestations. The gases produced by the decomposition of the waste – mainly a mix of carbon dioxide and methane – are burned off or used in an on-site energy generation plant.
Landfills are lined on the base and sides prior to waste deposition. As an area of a landfill reaches capacity it is covered with an engineered cap such as clay and restored using soils or other covering materials so that the site can be used in the future for agriculture, amenities or nature conservation. This is repeated for all filled areas.
The Landfill (Scotland) Regulations 2003 and their amendments - in 2003and 2013 - implement the Landfill Directive and set standards for the design and operation of landfills. Landfill sites must be classified as hazardous, non-hazardous, or inert.
The Landfill Allowance Scheme (LAS), which formerly administered a system of banking, borrowing and penalties concerning the disposal of Biodegradable Municipal Waste (BMW), was revoked by the Scottish Government in 2012.
We regulate landfill sites directly through a permit system.
In order to be considered for a permit, operators of landfill sites must submit a variety of conceptual models, management plans and site specific assessments as part of a completed application. We will then assess the application and determine if and when operators may be granted a permit.
Landfill sites are subject to UK landfill tax, however, from 2015, they will be subject to the Landfill Tax (Scotland) Act 2014 .
Landfill gas management
- Guidance on the management of landfill gas
- Guidance for monitoring of trace components in landfill gas
- Guidance on landfill gas flaring
- Guidance on gas treatment technologies for landfill gas engines
- Guidance for monitoring landfill gas engine emissions
- Guidance for monitoring enclosed landfill gas flares
- Guidance on monitoring of landfill leachate, groundwater and surface water
- Engineering (lining and capping)
- Framework for risk assessment for landfill sites: The geological barrier, mineral layer and the leachate sealing and drainage system
- Interim technical guidance note on capping for landfill sites
Hydrogeological risk assessment
- SEPA Technical guidance note: Hydrogeological risk assessment for landfills and the derivation of control and trigger levels
Waste acceptance and disposal
- The criteria and procedures for the acceptance of waste at landfills (Scotland) direction 2005
- The disposal in landfills for non-hazardous waste of stable, non-reactive hazardous wastes
- SEPA Technical guidance note: Disposal of gypsum in Landfills
- The disposal in landfills for non-hazardous waste of asbestos, wastes
- SEPA Technical guidance note: Closure procedures for landfill sites currently operating under waste management licences
- SEPA Technical guidance note: Closure, restoration and aftercare plan for submission to SEPA
- The criteria and procedures for the acceptance of waste at landfills (Scotland): amendment direction 2009
- The criteria and procedures for the acceptance of waste landfills (Scotland) amendment direction 2019
If you require any further help or advice, please contact us.