A Materials Management Plan (MMP) can allow for the reuse of contaminated or uncontaminated soil and other material in earthworks, whilst avoiding the lengthy and more costly process of securing an environmental permit to do so.
For brownfield projects in particular, the off-site disposal of surplus materials such as excavation arisings can be a significant cost and may impact a projects viability, particularly as the amount of material from a typical development site can amount to thousands of tonnes.
The Definition of Waste Code of Practice (DoWCoP) requires that a Materials Management Plan is produced and that it specifies what information must be gathered and documented. Crucially, the MMP must demonstrate the material has been deposited in the appropriate manner and will not pose unacceptable risks to human health or the environment, and it should be finalised at the design and planning stage of a project. All Material Management Plans must be reviewed by a Code of Practice Qualified Person and receive final sign-off by the regulator.
So, what are the implications of non-compliance?
In 2018, a bill was passed that enabled the HMRC to charge landfill tax evasion fines and penalties, on any company found to have committed a waste crime. For some time following this announcement, the industry has been speculating on what this means to them and how it will practically effect them. Many have been unsure of where it applies, and in so many instances have neglected to address the issue and change their practices.
HMRC inspections are now well underway with regional task teams being set up to undertake random inspections on site to check regulatory compliance in the management and use of waste and soils.
Materials Management Plan Objectives
The CL:AIRE Definition of Waste Code of Practice sets out four main principles for the use of materials as non-waste. The Materials Management Plan must contain sufficient information to demonstrate these requirements are met.
Protection of Human Health and the Environment
In line with the provisions of the Waste Framework Directive, adequate assessment must be undertaken, and where necessary, protection or remediation measures must be specified. Any material that presents unacceptable risk of pollution or harm to human health it is likely to be waste, although it may be possible to update the design or treat the material (see point 2).
2. Suitable for Use
The material must be suitable for the intended use, particularly in terms of its chemical and geotechnical properties. Excavated materials that are suitable for use without requiring treatment are unlikely to be waste. Material requiring treatment, such as to alter chemical or physical/geotechnical properties will be waste, but once treated and suitable for use, will no longer be considered waste under an approved MMP.
Certainty of Use
It must be demonstrated that any material is actually required to achieve the design and is used for the purpose stated. The DoWCoP requires this is established at the outset, meaning any material excavated and stockpiled will become waste, unless a definite requirement and use has been identified up-front.
Quantity of Material Required
Similarly to point 3, it must be demonstrated that volume of material used is not more than required to meet the design objectives. As only the quantity needed is permitted to be used, any additional emplacement of material could be deemed waste disposal.
We are more than happy to help and advise on anything that you may be unsure of, so please contact our waste team on 0121 356 4360 or email [email protected]