Organics Recycling Compliance

Our objective when developing any recycling strategy is to identify the Best Practical Environmental Option

The EU's Urban Waste Water and Landfill Directives encourage the reuse of organic waste whenever possible, and when appropriate, controlling the disposal and re-use of wastes.

When reused, organic waste returns carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and elements essential to plant growth back to the soil.

Working to compliance standards

Returning the nutrients available in organic wastes to soil is our primary target, and we do so under strict guidelines and with the appropriate permits, exemptions or deployments in place. Under these criteria we ensure:

  • we do not exceed the approved quantities for reuse on any soil type
  • storage of the waste in a secure, compliant place
  • that waste is not returned to land that is frozen, waterlogged or covered in snow
  • that spreading does not occur adjacent to public pathways or water courses
  • that the treatment benefits wildlife or agriculture by ensuring it demonstrates Best Practical Environmental Option
  • that only waste types allowed under government regulations are returned to land. As such we hold both a Waste Carriers Broker Licence and Mobile Plant Licence for Land Spreading

Key Regulations

There are a number of key legislations regulating our business practices.

1) EU Landfill Directive
This sets mandatory targets for the reduction of biodegradable municipal waste sent to landfill. By 2020 the UK must reduce its biodegradable waste landfilled to 35% of that produced in 1995.

It is likely that this legislation will tighten further and require all member states to prohibit all landfilling of these biodegradable wastes.

2) Landfill Tax Regulations
Landfill tax was first introduced in 1996 at a rate of £7 per tonne for non-inert wastes. From April 2011 the rate has increased to £56 per tonne and will rise further over the next few years to £80 per tonne.

3) Sludge (Use in Agriculture) Regulations
The spreading of biosolids on agricultural land is controlled by the Sludge (Use in Agriculture) Regulations. The 1989 Regs (as amended) cover England, Wales and Scotland, and the 1990 Regs cover Northern Ireland, but are identical in content.

These regulations are supported by the Department of the Environment's Code of Good Agricultural Practice and Code of Practice for the Agricultural Use of Sewage Sludge as well as by the Safe Sludge matrix (an agreement between water companies and the British Retail Consortium)

These regulations control the amount, location, timing and type of spreading allowed.

4) Waste and Emissions Trading Act
This act, followed by a number of self imposed waste management strategies ensures that by 2015 the UK recycle, or compost, at least 33% of its household waste, and recovers value from 67% of municipal waste.

Traceability & Transparency

SUIVRA guarantees quantitative and qualitative tracking and monitoring of spreading operations; providing flexibility and compliance throughout

Benefits of SUIVRA

To maintain credible recycling operations, and to satisfy customers and regulators alike, we ensure that:

  1. Appropriate regulations and advisory code-of-practice requirements have been satisfied before operations commence, and failsafe checks are in place
  2. Necessary information has been passed to the customer after the operation has been completed
  3. Data relating to operations is retained in a format easily accessible to the regulators

How SUIVRA Works

SUIVRA improves the accuracy of information we can provide regulators and customers:

1) Recording and storing information
It is linked to a Geographical Information System (GIS) that accurately maps the end users such as farms, land restoration sites, composting sites and landfill sites. SUIVRA records and stores:

  1. Organisations involved in the sludge recycling process; such as contractors, hauliers, laboratories, Environmental Health Offices and Regulators
  2. Biosolids/Waste Groups; including name, type and analysis of sludge. By recording this information, and matching it with soil characteristics, SUIVRA allows the spreading of differently sourced organic wastes onto the same field, these actions being recorded as a single operation
  3. Deliveries of organic waste and actual spreading undertaken; includes documenting inspections of stockpiles and spreading operation

2) Permit driven system producing documentation for each stage of the recycling process

  • An order for the waste is raised; incorporates all information regarding cropping rotations and forecasted amounts of organic material to be spread. Failsafe mechanisms are in place that flag up missing nutrients, out of date analyses and if spreading limits are exceeded
  • Produces Permits for Haul and Spread; details the type of operation, site details, sludge quantity and duration of operation. This recorded information in turn assists all internal and external audits
  • Produces notification; automatically generates notification to the relevant Environmental Health Officer stating what recycling is to be carried out, where and when

3) Providing evidence of what has actually been done
SUIVRA automatically provides the customer with a document detailing how much of what particular organic waste was recycled to which specific areas of land and the nutrient advantages it provided. This also includes the most recent soil analysis and the actual Potentially Toxic Element (PTE) additions.

System capabilities

  • Analytical Monitoring
  • Soil Monitoring
  • Nutrient Management Planning
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Contact Information
  • Permit Generation
  • ​Evidence Tracking​

A sample traceability map produced by Veolia's tracking software

Carbon Accounting

Veolia has adapted a carbon footprint tool, used to help provide annual reductions in our Green House Gases (GHG) process emissions.

Our Carbon Footprint Tool

  • Online tool created by the European Federation for Agricultural Recycling (EFAR)
  • Developed to record specific sludge volume and characteristics (Dry Solids%, Nitrogen%, Phosphate% etc)
  • Measures the level of emissions of such gases as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, and accounts for carbon sequestration and fertiliser offset which affect emissions and could lead to artificially low or negative net carbon footprints
  • Calculates transportation use and where local landbanks can be used
  • Generates a monthly report of emissions of GHGs to atmosphere

Carbon based decisions

Monthly reports can highlight areas for year on year GHG reductions, enabling us and our clients to account for environmental factors,as well as financial and operational constraints.

Studying these results also allows us to identify, and put into practice, processes that have lower Global Warming Potentials (GWP).

Providing Best Environmental Practice

Our Carbon Footprint Tool can analyse emission potential from a variety of recycling processes including anaerobic digestion, composting, land filling and incineration. This ensures that land spreading is the 'greenest' recycling route for any given product.