Tackling Environmental Noise in The Waste Industry

27th October 2021

Tackling Environmental Noise

Wakefield Acoustics

Author: Wakefield Acoustics – Noise Control Specialists | Last Updated: April 2023

Within the UK, operational permits provide protection and controls for environmental emissions.

The Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016 provide detailed guidance and requirements for operators within England and Wales. Within Scotland, the legislative framework is governed by SEPA.

As a significant sector, waste management industries (either in the form of waste disposal, recycling or energy from waste) have to tackle many environmental controls in the form of air pollution, drainage, heat, substance containment, and not least, noise.

The need for movement of large volumes of materials, and air for general ventilation, drying systems, air scrubbers or furnaces usually requires very large and noisy fixed plant items. Managing the controls on such a large scale, along with maintaining a functioning operational plant, must be a headache, to say the least. 

How to Reduce Environmental Noise In The Waste Industry

As with the construction of any large development, noise should always be considered at the outset in order to control environmental emissions, and not upset the neighbours! However, things don’t always go to plan.

When noise complaints arise, it is usual practice to use assessment methods as outlined in BS4142. In layman’s terms, this provides a baseline case for background noise levels, and assesses how much above background the site is contributing.

On these sites, it is often found that a number of pieces of plant and equipment can be contributing to the overall site noise levels. This being the case, noise monitoring is usually conducted close to each source in order to rank the sources and determine the worst offenders. 

Once this information is established, noise control companies such as Wakefield Acoustics can look to implement solutions to the identified areas.

Regular noise monitoring is also usually undertaken on these sites, in order to demonstrate compliance, or otherwise, with permits and agreed noise limits. As one can well imagine, with large numbers of items of plant on these sites, wear-and-tear on equipment can quite often lead to unexpected noise emissions, hence the need for regular checks.

Wakefield Acoustics have extensive experience in providing bespoke solutions for general industrial applications: