Veolia applies to vary Rainham landfill permit  

Veolia has applied to reshape the environmental permit for its Rainham landfill site, to allow for greater flexibility for its wood and composting operations.

Veolia’s landfill site in Rainham, Greater London (Picture: Veolia)

The waste management company currently handles around 70,000 tonnes of green waste per year at its composting facility adjacent to the landfill site in Greater London.

The application, submitted to the Environment Agency on 6 September, explains that Veolia would like to include the composting process as an “installation activity” under its landfill permit in order to expand its operations.

And, the wood recovery process which takes place adjacent to the site will also be included as a waste activity in the landfill permit, and the scope of that activity will be expanded.

Combined, the two operations will have a capacity of 150,000 tonnes, Veolia said.

Material is collected from nearby local authorities including the East London Waste Authority, Western Riverside Waste Authority, Bexley, Essex, Kent and Medway.


In the application Veolia claims that permitting the site for both activities with some flexibility to exchange throughputs will allow it to “respond to business needs and customer requirements within the circular economy”.

The application is open for consultation until the 4 October.

This is likely to increase with the prospect of green waste becoming free to collect–

Veolia spokesperson

‘Easier transition’

A Veolia spokesperson told “By expanding the scope and flexibility of our composting and wood operations we will be able to speed up the earlier transition to peat-free compost across gardens, farms and in stores.

“Veolia currently processes over 500,000 tonnes of green and food waste every year derived from a nationwide network of 11 composting sites that produce over 250,000 tonnes per year, the equivalent to around 12 million bags.

“This is likely to increase with the prospect of green waste becoming free to collect and on a more regular basis, as pledged in the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy.”


In the non-technical summary of the application, Veolia states that the landfill site is “ideally suited” to both wood and composting activities.

It added that being permitted to exchange annual throughput capacity between the windrow composting and wood treatment and storage, would allow the company to “innovate and supply” the needs of the “secondary raw material economy”.

Alongside the proposed changes, Veolia explained that there will be several improved infrastructure and controls which will represent a “reduction in environmental risk” and will meet the requirements of the latest Environment Agency fire prevention guidance.


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