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.

Read about More waste treatment processes on NetRegs

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NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms