EA publishes material facilities consultation

The Environment Agency (EA) has initiated a consultation process regarding proposed changes to regulations governing materials facilities. 

These facilities receive over 1,000 tonnes of waste annually

These facilities, which receive over 1,000 tonnes of waste annually and sort it into specific materials such as glass, metal, paper and plastic for recycling, play a “crucial role” in waste management. 

The proposed amendments put forward by the Environment Agency include: 

  • Adjusting the additional subsistence charge for materials facilities to better reflect the costs of regulatory activities 
  • Changing the billing approach for this additional charge, shifting from arrears billing for the preceding calendar year to advance billing in March for the following financial year 

The consultation aims to gather feedback on these proposals, which are designed to ensure fair cost recovery for regulatory services while addressing changes in delivery costs, inflation and upcoming regulatory duties.  

The proposed changes are in anticipation of new regulations for materials facilities slated to take effect on 1 October 2024. According to the Environment Agency, these regulations aim to enhance recyclable material quality objectives and establish connections between facility data reporting and extended producer responsibility for packaging (EPR). 


Key questions in the consultation: 

  • The extent of agreement or disagreement with the proposed changes to the annual subsistence charge for materials facility operations 
  • Agreement or disagreement with the proposed change in billing approach for the additional subsistence charge 
  • Assessment of the economic impact of the proposed changes, particularly on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) 
  • Any additional comments or thoughts about the proposed changes 

Future plans 

The Environment Agency emphasises its “commitment to transparency and fairness” in charging for regulatory services, in line with its responsibilities under the Environment Act 1995. It also highlights the importance of adequately funding its regulatory role to tackle fraud in materials facilities, which benefits both industry and the environment. 

Furthermore, the Agency plans to continue strengthening its regulatory role to address non-compliance, fraud, and serious waste crime, with further consultations on related charges and levies scheduled for later in 2024. 

Stakeholders can participate in the consultation by accessing the documents on Citizen Space and the Environment Agency website and providing their responses until midnight on 5 June 2024. 

Responses to the consultation will be published within 12 weeks of it closing. 

To find out more about changes in the sector, visit the National Letsrecycle.com Conference on 6 June at QEII Centre in London. To book tickets to attend or for more information please click here.

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