Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Waste compactors

Waste compactors

What you must do

If you use a waste compactor you may need a waste management licence from your environmental regulator.

However, you may be able to register an exemption from having to hold a licence. This could allow you to bale, compact, crush, shred or pulverise waste at the place where it is produced. Even if you operate under an exemption, you must still ensure that your activities do not:

  • endanger human health
  • cause risk to water, air, soil, plants or animals
  • cause a nuisance through noise or odours
  • adversely affect the countryside or places of special interest.

NIEA: Waste management licensing exemptions

SEPA: Activities exempt from waste management licensing

Good practice

A waste compactor is not suitable for dealing with liquids and some food wastes, so you should fully drain cartons before you compact them.

Compactors can leak polluting liquids even when you use them to compact solid waste. You should isolate their drainage from the surface water drainage system. Use rollover bunds, and drain them to the foul sewer if possible.

Whats new on NetRegs

  • Waste – Duty of Care Roles and Responsibilities

    The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.



  • EIA (Agriculture) Regulations for Northern Ireland

    Any person intending to alter the use or management of areas of uncultivated or semi-natural land must obtain prior approval from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

    Read more on the DAERA website

  • Guidance from your environmental regulator

    Regulator logos

  • 9 NEW GPPs (Guidance for Pollution Prevention) available now

    The NetRegs team at SEPA, in partnership with The Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and a number of industry bodies have produced 9 new GPPs to replace out of date PPGs. More are coming! Check the available topics

  • New guidance

    New guidance for Start-ups, charities and community projects


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