Questions relating to:
Composting permit variation
Why did you apply for a new environmental permit?
From time to time, as the needs of our customers change or due to changes in legislation, it is necessary to apply for a new permit or permit variation.
What does the new permit allow you to do that you didn’t do before?
The new permit allows Biowise to accept only waste types that are suitable for open windrow composting and increases the annual tonnage for the composting facility to less than 75,000 tonnes. A full list of waste types will be available on the website in due course. However, highly odorous wastes such as tannery waste will not be permitted.
The new permit adds an activity for the treatment of waste to produce soil, soil substitutes and aggregates with an annual throughput of less than 50,000 tonnes to assist in the restoration of the former landfill site. It also extends the permitted area and increases the storage capacity at the site to 50,000 tonnes.
Why did you need to extend the area of your site?
The permitted area has been extended to allow sufficient space and infrastructure to process the increased volumes of waste.
How do you manage odours on-site?
We manage the facility in strict accordance with an industry best practice Odour Management Plan as approved by the Environment Agency.
Was it tannery waste that was causing the terrible smell last year?
Yes it was. That is why we stopped taking this type of waste in late 2011.
Why has the smell stopped recently?
This is primarily down to a combination of us no longer accepting tannery and other potentially odorous waste streams and adopting the principles in the new Odour Management Plan.
Is it true that you use deodorisers and are there any associated health risks?
Yes we do use deodarisers when necessary, although they are odourless and they do not pose any health risks.
What types of waste does the new permit cover?
The permit covers a variety of organic and inert waste streams. A full list will be available on the website in due course. Please note that highly odorous waste such as tannery waste will not be permitted.
Where does the waste come from?
The waste that we process comes from household (i.e. garden waste), commercial and industrial sources, including waste from other recycling facilities.
Can you not just apply for the waste types that you will actually process?
It would be onerous and completely impractical for the Environment Agency (EA) to issue Biowise with a permit that only covers those waste types currently accepted. Our customer requirements are constantly changing, therefore, rather than having to ask the EA each time to add or remove waste types it is customary for the EA to issue the permit with a pre-approved list of waste types taken from their standard rules permits. Any additional waste types must go through a robust waste pre-acceptance procedure to determine their suitability and odour potential prior to routine acceptance.
Have you stopped taking tannery waste?
Yes, we stoppped accepting tannery waste in late 2011.
Is it true you’re taking waste from power stations and combustion plants?
Although some waste types from power stations and combustion plants are included on the EA's standard rules permit that we have been granted, we have not and do not intend to accept any of these wastes in the future. Not all wastes listed on the permit will be accepted on-site.
Will you be processing animal waste and / or excrement?
No we will not although some of these waste types are included on the EA's standard rules permit that we have been granted. Not all wastes listed on the permit will be accepted on-site. In addition, Biowise will not be permitted to accept any waste that is covered by the Animal By-products Regulations 2005.
What additional waste will you now be taking as a result of the permit variation?
A full list of waste types will be available on the website in due course. However, highly odorous waste such as tannery waste will not be permitted.
Why have you had to increase the volume on your current permit?
As the recycling needs of our customers has grown, it is necessary for us to apply for a new permit, allowing for more waste to be handled.
What is the amount of waste you now expect to process?
The new permit will allow us to process up to 75,000 tonnes per year via the composting activity and up to 50,000 tonnes per year via the soil manufacture activity. However, the actual amounts are very likely to be less than this.
How many more lorries will there be coming to the site in Willerby as a result of the change in the permit?
We have actually seen a significant decrease in the number of vehicle movements since the closure of the landfill site in 2006. This has fallen further as a result of efficiencies in the way we work. For example, the majority of waste is now delivered on several large articulated lorries carrying up to 27 tonnes as opposed to lots of smaller vehicles carrying only a few tonnes each time.