In recent weeks, the office has been busy preparing a number of Waste Recovery Plan’s (WRP) for submission to the Environment Agency. The purpose of a WRP is to show that the primary objective of operations where inert waste is placed on land is to provide a beneficial end use, e.g. an engineered platform for future development or the restoration of land for ecological enhancement. The benefits of achieving recovery status is that there are far less onerous environmental monitoring and permit surrender requirements, both during and after completion of the operations, than required by a landfill permit. There are landfill tax benefits too! The Waste Recovery Plan process is not new to us at GPP as we have successfully argued a number of recovery operations over the years. However, during a recent high court case it became apparent to the lawyers acting on behalf of the EA that the previous interpretation of recovery did not comply with the European Union’s definition. The consequence is that there is now a significantly elevated importance of the ‘use of non-waste materials’ test, whereby an Applicant must prove that the proposed development would be feasible using non-waste materials. Not being able to prove this point may push your development in to the ‘disposal’ category, potentially affecting project viability. If you are thinking of lining up future inert waste fill development then it is worth talking through the latest interpretation of the WRP guidance with us, get in touch.