Materials facilities: how to assess, notify, sample and report

Materials facilities - often called materials recycling facilities - sort recyclable waste into reusable materials. Operators of regulated materials facilities in Wales must:

  • tell us when their own assessment shows that they meet the definition of a materials facility
  • pay us a subsistence fee
  • sample incoming and outgoing wastes
  • analyse the composition of samples
  • report results to us quarterly

Self-assess your waste facility

Your facility may be a materials facility if all the following apply:

  • You have an environmental permit that allows the intake of mixed dry household or household-like material
  • Any of the mixed dry household or similar waste you intake is made up of at least 50% by weight of two or more of glass, metal, paper or plastic
  • Your annual intake is at least 1000 tonnes of this material
  • You sort the material into one or more of the following specified output materials: glass, metal, paper or plastic for recycling

As an operator, you must self-assess whether your facility falls within the definition of a materials facility. We may ask for supporting evidence from facilities that potentially fall within the definition of a materials facility but have not submitted a notification.

You will need to reassess whether your facility meets the definition at the beginning of each reporting period. 

Tell us about your facility

If your assessment shows that you operate a materials facility, you must notify us by the end of the quarterly reporting period in which you assessed it.

Quarterly reporting periods are from:

  • 1 January to 31 March
  • 1 April to 30 June
  • 1 July to 30 September
  • 1 October to 31 December

We will charge you a subsistence fee as described in our charges scheme.

As an operator, you should tell us if the facility no longer meets the definition of a materials facility.


Sample and measure waste inputs and outputs

Operators must sample and measure mixed waste inputs and recycling output streams quarterly.

Use the Waste and Recycling Action Programme (WRAP) guidance on how to do the required sampling and analysis of composition. These are the minimum acceptable standards.

Submit your waste return

Materials facilities operators must submit their waste return to us quarterly.

Find out how and when to submit your return.

Our inspections

We will inspect materials facilities to:

  • check the sampling procedures that have been put in place
  • audit the data sent to us against what is observed on site

We will arrange at least one annual visit with operators to enable our officers to observe the sampling and compositional analysis on site. We will verify that the appropriate standards are being used and advise where improvements are required.

How to access materials facilities returns and sampling data

Data has previously been made publicly accessible via the WRAP Materials Facility Reporting Portal.

Data from 2020 onwards will be made available on DataMapWales.

Access the 2020 data

Explore more

Last updated