Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton

Minerals and Waste Local Plan:
Adopted December 1998

Difficult and Special Waste

Main Contents Page

Need for Waste Facilities

Clinical Waste

6. Meeting the Need for Waste Management

Non-Inert Waste Scenarios


General Considerations

Inert Waste Scenarios

Waste Water (Sewage) and Sewage Sludge

Waste Arisings

Landfilling and Landraising

Ancillary Waste Development

Waste Minimisation and Recycling

Waste Processing


Resource Recovery

Difficult and Special Waste


6.78 Difficult waste is a general term covering a wide variety of waste types which, due to their nature or physical properties, can give rise to particular risks or nuisance. Special waste is defined in legislation. It is waste which is dangerous or hazardous and consequently subject to strict waste regulation controls in relation to its movement and disposal. Difficult and special wastes mainly arise from industrial processes. However, difficult waste also includes clinical (health care) waste, scrap metals and sewage sludge. In some cases difficult and special wastes contain materials that can be recycled or reused, such as oil, solvents and metals.

6.79 In 1992/93 arisings of special waste in Hampshire totalled approximately 25,000 tonnes. In the same year approximately 38,000 tonnes came into Hampshire for treatment or disposal and approximately 19,000 tonnes were exported from the County. Therefore, a total of approximately 44,000 tonnes of special waste were dealt with in Hampshire. Over 90 per cent of this was treated or disposed of at the chemical waste treatment and incineration plant at Charleston Road, Fawley. A small quantity of asbestos was disposed of by landfilling and the remainder was otherwise treated or recovered. The specialised and variable nature of the production of special wastes makes it difficult to predict future trends in arisings with any certainty. However, over the period 1990 to 1993 there was an increase of 60 per cent in disposals within the County.

6.80 Accurate data on arisings of difficult wastes is less easy to obtain because, unlike special waste, these types of waste are not clearly defined and their movement is not required to be notified to the Environment Agency. A survey for the year 1992/93 revealed that approximately 513,000 tonnes of difficult wastes were handled in Hampshire, about 63 per cent of which arose in the County. This waste comprised approximately 77 per cent scrap metal, 18 per cent solid wastes (mainly incinerator ash) and 5 per cent liquid wastes. The survey did not cover clinical waste treated by incineration or sewage and sewage sludge. Of the total of 513,000 tonnes surveyed, only about 94,000 tonnes (18 per cent) was disposed of in Hampshire. The remainder was handled at waste recycling, treatment and transfer facilities.

6.81 There are six basic methods that have been used in recent years for the disposal of difficult and special wastes in Hampshire:

6.82 The Councils believe that it is essential that there are adequate facilities available for the safe handling, treatment, processing and disposal of non-recycled difficult and special wastes arising within Hampshire. As far as is practicable and acceptable, this waste should be handled, treated, processed and disposed of within the County, in accordance with the aim of self-sufficiency. It is also essential that the methods of treatment and disposal used, and the facilities available, are appropriate to the particular waste types concerned and that there is no likelihood of pollution or other unacceptable environmental impact or danger being caused. The Waste Planning Authorities will, therefore, normally permit appropriate facilities that are necessary for the handling, storage, recycling, transfer, treatment, processing and disposal of difficult and special wastes at suitable locations provided that no unacceptable environmental, traffic or other impact or any pollution or danger would be likely to be caused. Any planning application for a waste disposal installation for the incineration or chemical treatment of special waste will be required to be accompanied by an Environmental Statement.

6.83 The Councils recognise, however, that certain types of waste require treatment and disposal at specialised facilities which can only be provided on a regional or national basis. Most of the special waste arising in Hampshire goes out of the County for treatment and disposal because suitable facilities do not exist within the County. On the other hand, significant quantities of special waste are brought into Hampshire for disposal at the chemical waste treatment and incineration plant at Fawley. This is a nationally important facility serving the South East Region and other parts of the Country.

6.84 Under Policy 47 the Waste Planning Authorities may permit difficult and special waste facilities serving an area wider than Hampshire where the facility would form part of a regional or national strategy to which the Authority has agreed. However, the Councils consider that Hampshire is already playing a very important regional and national role in the provision of facilities for special waste with the chemical waste treatment and incineration plant at Fawley. Therefore, the establishment of new sites for special waste treatment or incineration facilities to serve the South East Region or beyond will not normally be permitted. Nevertheless, the Councils believe that the best use of the specialised plant at Fawley should be made for the benefit of the nation. Therefore, any proposal to improve, extend or increase the capacity of it will be considered in the light of the national and regional need for this type of facility having full regard to the possible environmental and safety implications of such development. However, the Fawley plant also accepts wastes from outside the UK for disposal. The Councils are opposed to the import of such waste, although they have no power to prevent it.

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