Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Burning waste - What you need to know

Burning waste is usually an environmentally poor waste management option because potential resources are lost and it can cause air, land and water pollution. You should always try to reduce, reuse, recycle or recover your waste materials before disposing of them in the most appropriate way. Burning waste may be appropriate if there is no better alternative way to dispose of your waste or if the waste can be used as an efficient fuel.

In most circumstances you will need a pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit or waste management licence or a registered waste exemption for burning waste. Make sure that you have the correct permits, licences or exemptions in place before you burn waste. In some cases, burning waste is forbidden.

This guide is for any business that burns waste for disposal or to generate energy. It covers what you need to do if you burn waste in the open air or within a waste burning unit. It provides guidance on the permits, licences and exemptions that you require to burn waste and suggests alternatives to burning waste.

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