Waste processing permit – what is it? When is it needed? - Eco-meritum

Waste processing permit – what is it? When is it needed?

Are you planning to run a waste processing business? Lack of appropriate permission can cost you dearly - from PLN 10. up to one million zlotys. To avoid an administrative penalty, you must remember to complete certain formalities. In what cases is a waste processing permit necessary? Who issues them?

How does the legislator define waste processing?

 Climate change makes the pursuit of how the largest amount of waste produced was processed and pose the least possible burden on the environment, is understandable. However, in order for waste processing activities to be legal, many formalities must be completed, including obtaining an appropriate permit. What does the legislator understand by the concept of waste processing?

Pursuant to Art. 3 of the Act of 14 December 2012 on waste (Journal of Laws 2022.699), the phrase "waste processing" covers all processes that include:

  • recovery of secondary raw materials in production processes in order to obtain material for primary or other purposes (recycling),
  • waste disposal in technical installations, e.g. by burning them or properly storing them.

Importantly, the legislator also includes preparatory processes that precede the recovery or disposal of waste as waste processing.

Waste processing – when is a permit required and when is it not?

 Pursuant to the Act of December 14, 2012 on waste, activities involving the processing of waste, as a rule, subject to the obligation to obtain a permit. It may pose a threat to the natural environment, which is why its control is necessary.

The Act also specifies what entities are exempt from this obligation. Who does not have to apply for a permit?

  1. Natural persons and organizational units who are not entrepreneurs, provided they use waste for their own needs
  2. Entities that must obtain an integrated permit if it covers waste processing
  3. Entities that have a permit to generate waste, if it includes the collection and processing of waste
  4. The owner of the property who collects municipal waste generated on its premises.

Importantly, if you intend to run a business that involves both collecting and processing waste, you do not have to submit two separate applications, but one – common. All you need to do is provide the data necessary to obtain both permits, and the authority will analyze them simultaneously.

Who issues a permit for waste processing?

 To get permit for waste processing, an appropriate application must be submitted to the appropriate authority. Depending on the place of waste processing, its category and size, the entity authorized to issue a decision will be:

1. Marshal of the voivodeship. This is the competent authority in the case of:

  • projects that may always have a significant impact on the environment,
  • non-hazardous waste that is subjected to a recovery process consisting in filling in unfavorably transformed areas, provided that the amount of waste placed in the excavation or sinkhole is not less than 10 Mg per day or if the total capacity of the excavation or sinkhole is equal to or greater than 25 thousand Mg,
  • municipal installations,
  • permits for waste collection if the maximum total weight of stored waste (all types) exceeds 3000 Mg.

2.  Regional director of environmental protection. Issues permits for waste processing in closed areas.

3.  Starost. It considers applications for permits to process waste in other cases (usually these are projects that may potentially have a significant impact on the environment).

A waste processing permit is a document without which it is impossible to run a business consisting in, for example, recovery or disposal of waste. If you do not know whether you need to submit an appropriate application or need support in completing it, you can consult our environmental protection experts. At EkoMeritum, we will dispel your doubts and guide you through the entire procedure of obtaining a waste processing permit.