Aims to limit the risks that waste incineration poses to the environment and human health
The Waste Incineration Directive rules apply to most activities that involve burning waste, including burning waste for fuel.
There are a large number of waste incinerators in England and Wales, ranging from small laboratory incinerators to large operations that burn household waste. Incinerators burn waste at very high temperatures, which turns the waste to ashes.
The directive also applies to co-incinerators, such as combustion plants and cement works which burn waste as a fuel. Some wastes are exempt from the requirements of the directive.
In the UK, the directive is implemented through the Waste Incineration (England and Wales) Regulations 2002.
Waste incinerator operators have improved their environmental performance greatly in recent years. They used to be the largest producers of harmful substances called dioxins, but these days, they're among the lowest.
New rules like the Waste Incineration Directive, aim to keep up these improvements, so we limit the risks that waste incineration poses to the environment and human health.