Advanced treatment- The treatment of waste using thermal processes (gasification, incineration, pyrolysis) and other waste to energy processes such as plasma arc, and other emerging technologies.

After-care- The maintenance work needed to ensure that a restored landfill site does not produce environmental problems. The maintenance work is carried out after replacement of the soil to bring the land up to the required standard for cultivating, fertilising, planting, drainage and otherwise treating the land.

After-use- The ultimate use to which a minerals working or waste site (landfill/raise) is put following its restoration, such as forestry, amenity, agriculture, nature conservation, recreation or industrial.

Aggregate- Inert particulate matter which is suitable for use (on its own or with the addition of cement or bituminous material) in construction as concrete, mortar, finishes, road stone, asphalt, or drainage course, or for use as constructional fill or railway ballast.

Amenity- A land use which is not productive agriculture, forestry or industrial development; can include formal and informal recreation and nature conservation.

Anaerobic digestion (AD)- The biological treatment of biodegradable organic waste in the absence of oxygen, utilising microbial activity to break down the waste in a controlled environment. AD results in the generation of: biogas which is rich in methane and can be used to generate heat and/or electricity; fibre (or digestate) which is nutrient rich and can potentially be used as a soil conditioner; and a liquor which can potentially be used as a liquid fertiliser20. Where AD includes energy recovery it can be classified as “other recovery” (under the waste hierarchy) or and advanced treatment process under the Local Plan.

Archaeological interest- An interest in carrying out an expert investigation at some point in the future into the evidence a heritage asset may hold of past human activity. Heritage assets with archaeological interest are the primary source of evidence about the substance and evolution of places, and of the people and cultures that made them. These heritage assets are part of a record of the past that begins with traces of early humans and continues to be created and destroyed21.


Best Available Techniques (BAT) Defined (using the definition in article 2 of the Pollution Prevention & Control (PPC) Directive) as the most effective and advanced stage in the development of activities and their methods of operation, which indicates the practical suitability of particular techniques for providing, in principle, the basis for emission limit values designed to prevent and, where that is not practicable, generally to reduce emissions and impact on the environment as a whole. The OECD definition of BAT is best available technology; which is taken to mean the latest stage of development (state of the art) of processes, of facilities or of methods of operation which indicate the practical suitability of a particular measure for limiting discharges. The BAT NICOP defines BAT as the latest stage of development of processes, facilities or methods of operation which indicate the practical suitability of a particular measure for limiting waste arisings and disposal. In determining what constitutes BAT consideration shall be given to;

1. comparable processes, facilities or methods which have been tried out successfully

2. technological advances and changes in scientific knowledge and understanding

3. the economic feasibility of such techniques

4. time limits for installation in both new and existing plants-

5. the nature and volume of the disposals concerned

It follows that BAT will change with time in the light of technological advances, economic and social factors, and changes in scientific understanding.

Biological processing- Treatment of biodegradable organic waste utilising microbial activity to break down the waste matter (e.g. composting or anaerobic digestion).

Buffer zone- A zone or area that separates waste management facilities from other land uses to safeguard local amenity.


Civic amenity (CA) site - Also known as household waste recycling centre (HWRC), resource recovery centre’s, and bring sites. Civic amenity sites are provided by Waste Disposal Authorities as places where the public can deliver a range of household waste for recycling or disposal, including metals, paper, glass, engine oil, garden waste, oversized items (e.g. furniture and appliances), and building rubble.

Collyweston stone slate- A roofing material widely used in Northamptonshire, in adjoining areas and on important buildings further afield. Collyweston stone slates are produced by the action of frost on the so called ‘log’ which is derived from the lowest beds of Lincolnshire Limestone. Suitable log is only found in discrete areas the best known sources being centred historically on Collyweston village. Other sources have been documented.

Commercial and industrial (C&I) waste- Waste from premises used mainly for trade, business, sport, recreation or entertainment22.

Composting- A biological process in which micro-organisms convert biodegradable organic matter into a stabilised residue known as compost. The process uses oxygen drawn from the air and produces carbon dioxide and water vapour as by-products. Composting can be undertaken in either an open-windrow or in-vessel system. (ODPM 2004)

Construction, demolition and excavation (CD&E) waste- Waste arising from any development such as vegetation and soils (both contaminated and uncontaminated) from the clearance of land, remainder material and off-cuts, masonry and rubble wastes arising from the demolition, construction or reconstruction of buildings or other civic engineering structures. CD&E may also include hazardous waste materials such as lead, asbestos, liquid paints, oils, etc.

Crushed rock- Hard rock, which has been quarried, fragmented and graded for use as aggregate.


Development control- The sector of land use planning that deals with the processing and enforcement of planning applications and decisions under the Town and Country Planning legislation. Each application is judged on its merits at the time of the application.

Dimension stone- A natural stone that has been selected and fabricated (i.e. trimmed, cut, drilled, ground, or other) to specific sizes or shapes; the main applications of which is building materials such as solid stone building blocks (i.e. building façades), decorative / ornamental exterior and interior structures, paving, etc.


End of Life Vehicles (ELV) Directive- European directive requiring producers to limit the use of certain hazardous substances in the manufacture of new vehicles and components and promote recyclability of their vehicles and requires that ELVs are subject to de-pollution prior to dismantling.


Floodplain- All land adjacent to a watercourse over which water flows in times of flood or would flow but for the presence of flood defences where they exist.


Gasification- Thermal decomposition that involves a chemical reaction which takes place at high temperatures in the presence of air, or air enriched with oxygen (between 900°C to 1,100°C when in air and 1,000°C to 1,400°C using oxygen. This generates energy from organic or hydrocarbon containing materials. Gasification is a thermal upgrading process, in which carbon is converted to a syngas leaving a solid residue. (ODPM 2004)

Gravel- Naturally occurring aggregates of more or less rounded rock fragments (pebbles) which are coarser than sand (i.e. 2 - 64 millimetres in diameter) and used as a building and construction material and in drainage work.

Groundwater- Water associated with soil or rocks below the ground surface, usually taken to mean water in the saturated zone.


Hazardous waste- Waste that contains hazardous properties that if improperly handled treated or disposed of, by virtue of its composition carries the risk of death, injury, or impairment of health, to humans or animals, the pollution of waters, or could have an unacceptable environmental impact.

Heritage asset- A building, monument, site, place, area or landscape positively identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions. Heritage assets are the valued components of the historic environment. They include designated heritage assets and assets identified by the local planning authority during the process of decision-making or through the plan-making process (including local listing). (DCLG 2010)

Historic environment- All aspects of the environment resulting from the interaction between people and places through time, including all surviving physical remains of past human activity, whether visible, buried or submerged, and landscaped and planted or managed flora. Those elements of the historic environment that hold significance are called heritage assets. (DCLG 2010)

Historic interest- An interest in past lives and events (including pre-historic). Heritage assets can illustrate or be associated with them. Heritage assets with historic interest not only provide a material record of our nation’s history, but can also provide an emotional meaning for communities derived from their collective experience of a place and can symbolise wider values such as faith and cultural identity. (DCLG 2010)

Household waste recycling centre– See civic amenity site.


Inert fill- Also known as clean fill. Aggregates or inert materials used in construction or land reclamation works to create new levels. Inert fill includes inert waste material that when buried will have no adverse effect on people or the environment and does not contain contaminants (e.g. combustible, putrescible, degradable, leachable, hazardous, or liquid wastes, etc). May include waste recovery (refer to Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010 EPR13).

Inert waste- Waste which will not biodegrade or decompose (or will only do so at a very slow rate), examples include glass, concrete, bricks, tiles & ceramics, and soil & stone (excluding topsoil & peat).23


Landbank-A stock of planning permissions sufficient to allow for extraction over a given period at an appropriate local level.

Landfill- The deposition of waste into hollow or void space in the land, usually below the level of the surrounding land or original ground level in such a way that pollution or harm to the environment is prevented. Landfill sites have to be sited where an existing void is available; former mineral workings have historically been used for this purpose.

Landfill gas- A by-product from the digestion by anaerobic bacteria (rotting) of putrescible matter present in waste deposited on landfill sites. The gas is predominantly methane (65%) together with carbon dioxide (35%) and trace concentrations of a range of other vapours and gases.

Limestone- A sedimentary rock consisting predominantly of calcium carbonate. Often used as aggregate (crushed rock) or a building stone.

Low level waste (LLW) - Radioactive waste that includes metals, soil, building rubble and organic materials, which arise principally as lightly contaminated miscellaneous waste. Metals are mostly in the form of redundant equipment. Organic materials are mainly in the form of paper towels, clothing and laboratory equipment that have been used in areas where radioactive materials are used – such as hospitals, research establishments and industry. LLW contains radioactive materials other than those acceptable for disposal with municipal and general commercial or industrial waste. It is defined as: “radioactive waste having a radioactive content not exceeding four gigabecquerels per tonne (GBq/te) of alpha or 12 GBq/te of beta/gamma radioactivity”.


Major development- Means development involving any one or more of the following: (a) the provision of dwelling houses where (i) the number of dwelling houses to be provided is 10 or more, or (ii) the development is to be carried out on a site having an area of 0.5 hectares or more and it is not known whether the development falls within paragraph (a)(i); (b) the provision of a building or buildings where the floor space to be created by the development is 1,000 square metres or more; or (c) development carried out on a site having an area of 1 hectare or more. 24

Materials recycling facility (MRF)- A facility that is designed to process recyclables. A ‘clean MRF’ processes source separated / co-mingled dry recyclables, whereas a ‘dirty MRF’ handles comingled wastes including putrescible materials25 

Mechanical biological treatment (MBT)- A waste processing facility that combines a sorting facility with a form of biological treatment such as composting or anaerobic digestion.

Metal recovery- Recovery and bulking up facilities that concentrate on providing metals as high quality input to industry. Facilities include traditional scrap yards and car breakers.

Minerals processing facilities- means rail heads, rail links to quarries, wharfage and associated storage, handling and processing facilities for the bulk transport by rail, sea or inland waterways of minerals, including recycled, secondary and marine-dredged materials, sites for concrete batching, the manufacture of coated materials, other concrete products and the handling, processing and distribution of substitute, recycled and secondary aggregate material (NPPF paragraph 143).

Municipal waste- Waste that is collected and disposed of by, or on behalf of, a local authority. It will generally consist of household waste any other wastes collected by a Waste Collection or Disposal Authority, or their agents. It includes waste collected from civic amenity sites, commercial or industrial premises, and waste resulting from the clearance of fly-tipped materials and litter. In addition, it may include road and pavement sweepings, gully emptying wastes, and some construction and demolition waste arising from local authority activities.


Non-inert (non-hazardous) waste- Also known as degradable or putrescible waste. Waste which will quickly or slowly biodegrade or decompose, releasing environmental pollutants but is not classified as hazardous waste.


Old minerals permission- A planning permission held for the extraction of minerals (often ironstone in Northamptonshire) and any overlaying materials granted under the Town and Country Planning Acts between 1948 and 1983. Also includes dormant sites (which have valid planning permission but where there has been no substantial working of minerals between 22 February 1982 and 6 June 1995).


Plasma arc gasification- A waste treatment technology that uses electrical energy and the high temperatures created by an electrical arc gasifier. This arc breaks down waste primarily into elemental gas and solid waste, in a plasma converter.

Potential impacts- Assessment of potential impacts should include direct effects and any indirect, secondary, cumulative, short / medium / long-term, permanent & temporary, positive & negative effects of the project. (DCLG 2000)

Preliminary treatment- Any waste management process that involves the recycling or biological processing of waste, for example materials recycling facility, recycling / processing of inert waste, composting, anaerobic digestion (without energy recovery), etc.

Primary aggregates- Aggregates that are comprised of naturally occurring materials such as crushed rock (e.g. limestone) and sand and gravel which are land won (in other words extracted directly from the ground).

Progressive restoration / rehabilitation- Restoration or rehabilitation undertaken progressively or having a staged approach, commencing when areas become available within the operational land.

Public rights of way- Footpaths, bridleways, tracks and lanes used as public paths and public byways.

Pyrolysis- Thermal decomposition that involves a chemical reaction which takes place at high temperatures between 400°C and 800°C. This generally generates energy from organic or hydrocarbon containing materials. Pyrolysis takes place either in the complete absence of oxygen or with limited oxygen. There are three products of pyrolysis: gas, liquid and a solid known as char. (ODPM 2004)


Recovery- The collection, reclamation and separation of materials from the waste stream. That is, any waste management operation that diverts a waste material from the waste stream and which results in a certain product with a potential economic or ecological benefit. Recovery mainly refers to the following operations: material recovery (i.e. recycling), energy recovery (i.e. re-use as a fuel), biological recovery (e.g. composting), and re-use[31].

Recycling- The collection, separation, recovery and re-use of materials from waste that would otherwise require disposal and subsequent reprocessing in a production process of the waste materials either for the original purpose or for other purposes including organic recycling but excluding energy recovery (EEA 2006).

Reduction- Means either the (1) use of technology requiring less waste generation from production, (2) production of longer lasting products with lower pollution potential, or (3) removing material from the waste stream (i.e. green waste used in home composts).

Regionally Important Geological Sites (RIGS)- A non-statutorily protected site of regional and local importance for geodiversity (geology and geomorphology). RIGS may be designated for their value to Earth science, and to Earth heritage in general, and may include cultural, educational, historical and aesthetic resources.

Reserves– Mineral deposits which have been tested to establish the quality and quantity of material present and which could be economically and technically exploited. Permitted reserves are reserves having the benefit of planning permission for extraction.

Residual arisings- Waste generated as an output resulting from waste treatment processes, for example contaminated recyclates / compost matter, non-recyclable / compostable materials, bottom ash residue, metals, APC residues, etc.

Resources- A potential mineral deposit where the quality and quantity of material present has not been tested.

Restoration- The return of land to its former use, or an appropriate condition, and stable landform (using subsoil, topsoil and / or soil making material); may include the remediation of contaminated land.

Re-use- Any operation by which end of life products and equipment or its components are used for the same purpose for which they were conceived (EEA 2006).


Sand and gravel- Naturally occurringmaterials formed as a result of the disintegration of rocks through weathering processes, then transported and deposited by wind, water and ice. In Britain the most common rock types are flint, limestone, quartzite and igneous rocks. Sand and gravel are therefore derived from similar sources, and are similar in their composition, though they differ in the size of their respective particles.

Secondary and recycled materials / aggregates- Materials that do not meet primary aggregate (e.g. sand, gravel and crushed rock) specifications in certain circumstances. Secondary aggregates are waste or by-products from industrial processes (e.g. scalpings and crusher fines from the production of primary aggregates), whereas recycled aggregates are reprocessed materials previously used in construction (e.g. demolition materials). Both secondary and recycled aggregates are used in the construction industry to replace the use of primary aggregates.

Setting (of a historic asset)- The surroundings in which a heritage asset is experienced. Its extent is not fixed and may change as the asset and its surroundings evolve. Elements of a setting may make a positive or negative contribution to the significance of an asset, may affect the ability to appreciate that significance or may be neutral. (DCLG 2010)

Significant integrated facility- A waste management facility that incorporates a range of different treatment technologies (either advanced or preliminary) on one site.

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)- A site statutorily protected for its nature conservation, geological or scientific value.

Site Specific Management Plan- A site or project specific plan agreed in writing with the council setting out identification of potentially adverse impacts on the receiving environment (and community), avoidance and / or mitigation measures required to reduce such impacts to an acceptable level (and what these levels are), practical or on-ground implementation measures, a schedule / timeframe for implementation, reporting and / or monitoring measures and corrective actions. This should include matters set out in the Environmental Impact Assessment and planning permission and identify personnel (from the minerals / waste operator) responsible for ensuring the implementation and monitoring of the plan.

Soft sand- Sand of a generally fine rounded grain shape (also known as “building sand”). Soft sand is used in a variety of building operations, such as the manufacture of mortar, and in the manufacture of asphalt for road construction purposes.

Special Protection Area (SPA)-A designation under the European Union Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds; also referred to as Natura 2000 sites.

Sterilisation- Where minerals cannot be extracted due to surface level development e.g. buildings on top of reserves which prevent access.

Stewardship- The practice of carefully managing land usage to ensure natural systems are maintained or enhanced for future generations.

Sustainable waste management- The efficient use of material resources with the aim of reducing the amount of waste ultimately produce. Where waste is generated in Northamptonshire it should be dealt with in a way that contributes to the social, economic and environmental goals of Northamptonshire.


Thermal treatment- Generic term to describe a range of processes that use heat to break down waste (e.g. incineration, pyrolysis, gasification, etc). Other terms that are often used to describe thermal treatment include combined heat and power, energy from waste or waste to energy, which is when energy can be recovered from thermal treatment facilities as electricity and / or heat. (SEPA 2006)

Transfer station- A depot where waste from collection vehicles is stored temporarily prior to carriage in bulk to a treatment or disposal site.

Treatment- Defined according to a ‘three point test’ (1) a physical / thermal chemical or biological process including sorting that: (2) changes the characteristics of waste and (3) does so in order to reduce its volume, or reduce its hazardous nature, or facilitate its handling or enhance its recovery.


Very low level waste (VLLW) - VLLW - Covers waste with very low concentrations of radioactivity. It arises from a variety of sources, including hospitals and the wider non-nuclear industry. Because VLLW contains little total radioactivity, it has been safely treated by various means, such as disposal with municipal and general commercial and industrial waste directly at landfill sites or indirectly after incineration. Its formal definition is:

(a) in the case of low volumes (‘dustbin loads’) of VLLW “Radioactive waste which can be safely disposed of to an unspecified destination with municipal, commercial or industrial waste (“dustbin” disposal), each 0.1m3 of waste containing less than 400 kilobecquerels (kBq) of total activity or single items containing less than 40 kBq of total activity. For wastes containing carbon-14 or hydrogen-3 (tritium): (i) in each 0.1m3, the activity limit is 4,000 kBq for carbon- 14 and hydrogen-3 (tritium) taken together; (ii) for any single item, the activity limit is 400 kBq for carbon-14 and hydrogen-3 (tritium) taken together. Controls on disposal of this material, after removal from the premises where the wastes arose, are not necessary.

(b) in the case of high volumes of VLLW “Radioactive waste with maximum concentrations of four megabecquerels per tonne (MBq/te) of total activity which can be disposed of to specified landfill sites. For waste containing hydrogen-3 (tritium), the concentration limit for tritium is 40MBq/te. Controls on disposal of this material, after removal from the premises where the wastes arose, will be necessary in a manner specified by the environmental regulators”.


Waste- Waste is defined in circular 11/94 and in the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994 as ‘any substance or object which the holder discards, or intends to discard or is required to discard’ and may include production residues and some by-products.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive- Private householders will be able to return their WEEE to collection facilities free of charge. Producers will be responsible for financing the collection, treatment, recovery and users (other than private householders) for products placed in the market after 13 August 2005.

Waste management strategy– Also known as the Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy for Northamptonshire (JMWMS) approved 2008. A non-statutory document setting out the (mainly technical) strategy for the management (including collection and treatment) of Municipal Solid Waste in Northamptonshire for the period 2007 to 2021. The JMWMS is produced by the Northamptonshire Waste Partnership (NWP) comprising the County Council (as Waste Disposal Authority, WDA) and the district and borough councils (as Waste Collection Authorities, WCAs).

Waste minimisation-The process of reducing the quantity of waste arising and requiring processing and / or disposal.

Waste recovery- Waste recovery is about using waste to replace other non-waste materials to achieve a beneficial outcome in an environmentally sound manner. The clearest indicator of waste recovery is when it can be shown that the waste used is a suitable replacement for non-waste material that would otherwise have to be used to achieve the end benefit27.

Waste to energy recovery- The treatment of waste to create heat that can be used directly or to generate electricity or some other form of power. (See also Combined Heat and Power). 

20 ODPM 2004 Planning for waste management facilities - A research study.

21 DCLG 2010 PPS 5 Planning for the historic environment.

22Environmental Protection Act 1990 (S5.75(7)).

23The Landfill (England and Wales) Regulations 2002 (SI No. 1559) (as amended), Schedule 1(4).

24Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure Order 1995).

25Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) 2006 Residual Waste Treatment Technologies Information Sheets.

26European Environment Agency (EEA) 2006

27Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010 Regulatory Guidance (EPR13). Defining waste recovery: Permanent deposit of waste on land.