Article 27 of the Regulations allows an “economic operator” (being either the material producer, or with the consent of the material producer) to decide, under certain circumstances, that a material is a by-product and not a waste. Article 27 was introduced into Irish law to implement Section 5 of the Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EU) but it is fair to say that implementation has been beset by uncertainty and a lack of clarity. Previous guidance issued by the Agency was withdrawn.
The stated purpose of the guidance is to set out the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulatory approach to determinations on soil and stone by-products.
Ireland is facing a crisis in the context of available authorised outlets for the disposal and recovery of soil and stone from construction excavation.
In the interests of resource efficiency and the sustainability, the transfer of uncontaminated soil and stone from one site to another development site should be encouraged and should be possible without the need for waste legislation to be applied, once the four by-product criteria are met.
The opportunity to re-use clean soil and stone arising from construction activity should not be lost.
One thing is for sure, the level of uncertainty that has endured for the past number of years should be removed.
Verde Environmental Consultants undertake characterisation of soils as required by landfill regulations and undertake the necessary sampling to assess whether a waste is classified as hazardous or non-hazardous.
Our specialists are trained in the use of the appropriate classification tools and have an in-depth knowledge of the relevant legislation and guidance, which allows them to guide clients in establishing cost effective and sustainable soil management solutions.