Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
You may be able to treat your biodegradable waste using anaerobic digestion. This uses natural bacteria to convert waste into:
Increasingly AD is being used to make the most of our waste by turning it into renewable energy.
Before you operate an anaerobic digester to treat food waste you must have a pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit, waste management licence or registered exemption.
You may need to register a paragraph 13 exemption for composting and storing biodegradable waste in Northern Ireland. If you have an exemption, you must comply with the exemption conditions.
If your waste includes animal by-products you must have approval for your anaerobic digester from Animal Health in Scotland or the Divisional Veterinary Offices (DVO) in Northern Ireland.
If you burn biogas you must have a:
You may be able to register an exemption from the need to hold a permit or licence in Scotland, if the inputs are less than 100 tonnes per day (50 tonnes if for waste disposal), and are only animal manures and slurries or by-products from distilleries.
If you operate under a registered exemption you must still ensure that your activity does not:
SEPA has produced guidance that explains how they will regulate the use and handling of digestate outputs from the AD process.
Further information on the production of biogas and case studies can be found on the Anaerobic Digestion Portal.
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