Information on how we regulate landfill sites.
The Landfill Directive has changed the way we manage waste in this country. It has helped us apply consistent high standards of design, construction, operation and aftercare.
We are responsible for regulating over 2,000 landfills:
- 465 of these are operational sites with a Landfill Directive compliant permit
- 812 sites have stopped taking waste since July 2001 when the Landfill Directive came into effect. These sites closed in accordance with the Directive requirements
- 979 sites stopped taking waste before the Landfill Directive came into effect, but continue to have permits from previous regimes
These numbers are subject to frequent change as we issue permits, sites close or site permits are surrendered. We will try to keep them up to date, but they should not be relied upon for statistical purposes. If you need more accurate data, please contact someone from the landfill technical team.
About 75% of the sites we regulate no longer take any waste. However, many of them will continue to pose a risk to the environment for many years to come. The Closed Landfill Project is assessing the risks the closed landfills present, to decide whether some low risk site permits could be surrendered and whether some of the higher risk sites need to improve their aftercare management.
There remain nine sites where operators appealed our decision to refuse a permit application, or who were not satisfied with their permit conditions. These will continue to operate under their existing conditions until the appeal is resolved.
Many landfills have contentious issues and we have produced a fact sheet to explain what our role is to local communities:
Who the Landfill Directive affects
The Landfill Directive affects operators disposing of waste at landfill sites and local authorities who must divert biodegradeable household waste away from landfill. The landfill sites covered by this Directive include sites for the disposal of:
- hazardous waste only
- non-hazardous waste that take some hazardous waste such as asbestos and stable, and non-reactive hazardous waste in separate cells
- non-hazardous waste only
- inert waste
- dead domestic pets (pet cemeteries)
Landfill sites which have closed since July 2001 are covered by this directive.
How it is implemented
The Landfill Directive is implemented by the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.
This is a good starting point to understand what the Directive covers. It includes a copy of the Landfill Directive and the Council Decision, and gives the interpretation of their requirements.
Making an application
If you want to make a permit application or want guidance on the Environmental Permitting regime, go to our EPR permitting page. You will also find some of the cross sector guidance will be relevant to landfill sites:
Apart from the EPR application, you will need to complete the Environmental Setting and Installation Design (ESID) template and provide a copy with your application:
If you are making an application for a landfill for non-hazardous or hazardous waste, you will also need to complete the HRA, SRA and LFGRA templates:
- Landfill guidance
Technical guidance that will help you understand the standards we want you to achieve when you design and manage a landfill site.
- Waste acceptance at landfills
Information on the types of waste banned from landfills and the waste acceptance criteria.
- Closed landfills
Our regulatory approach to closed landfills.
- Municipal waste
Information for landfill sites that deal with municipal waste.