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The handling of sweeper arisings, waste generated during street-sweeping operations, poses specific challenges due to the diverse composition of each load. Typically, this waste stream contains water, dirt, leaves, stones, litter, hydrocarbons (petrol, oil, diesel), road salt, and de-icing chemicals. Effective management of sweeper waste is vital to prevent pollution and ensure compliance with environmental regulations. This article offers guidance on responsibly managing sweeper waste.

  1. Environmental Impact of Sweeper Waste:

It is imperative not to empty sweeper arisings into or near drains, surface water, or groundwater to prevent pollution. It is also crucial to refrain from discharging sweeper arisings directly onto bare ground and avoid using them to clean spills of oils, petrol, or chemicals.

  1. Deposit of Sweeper Waste on Land:

To deposit waste material on land, an Environment Permit is necessary under the Waste Operation category. However, there is a Regulatory Position Statement (RPS 65) that permits specific entities to store and dewater street sweepings without an Environment Permit.

Proper Management of Sweeper Waste: Environmental Guidelines

This includes:

  • Local Authorities and Highways England for the street sweepings they produce.
  • Contractors working on behalf of local authorities or Highways England, provided they have control over the waste storage site.

Conditions for utilizing RPS 65 include:

  • Storing and dewatering street sweepings on an impermeable surface with sealed drainage.
  • Maintaining control over the sweepings and the storage location.
  • Compliance with Waste Exemption: NWFD 3 – Temporary Storage of Waste at a place controlled by the Producer.
  • Securing the sweepings to prevent public access.
  • Retaining records for two years to demonstrate compliance, available for inspection by the Environment Agency upon request.

A Low Risk Waste Position (LRWP 63) allows the screening and dewatering of road sweeping waste from building sites. Specific conditions apply, including a limit of 12 tonnes stored for up to one month on an impermeable surface with secondary containment, such as a skip.

  1. Landfill Restrictions:

Untreated liquid waste, including sweeper waste, is prohibited from direct landfill disposal in England and Wales under the Environmental Permitting Guidance (The Landfill Directive).

  1. Permitted Disposal Facilities:

Authorized facilities across the UK can accept street sweepings categorized as EWC 20 03 03 waste. Waste generators must ensure that the selected facility holds the required license to accept the waste and provide proof of disposal.

  1. Waste Carriers License Requirement:

All operating companies using road sweepers to collect and transport construction or demolition waste must possess a Waste Carriers License. Compliance with Duty of Care legislation is essential.

WasteSURES policy mandates adherence to these conditions or possession of an Environmental Permit before booking and issuing purchase orders. All orders placed with our supply chain include a tipping line to cover the correct off-site disposal costs. Each waste transfer must be accompanied by a Waste Transfer Note (signed by the Customer) and a Weighbridge/Tipping Ticket as evidence of proper disposal.

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Author Vijendra

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