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Alternative Fuel Processors

Alternative fuel processors take in industrial process and commercial wastes with a minimum fuel value of 5,000 Btu per pound and use them as an alternative energy source. Example wastes include manufactured wood waste, paper, plastic, tires, rubber, carpet, oil filter fluff, cosmetics, and corn seeds. The use of alternative fuel helps slow the depletion of fossil fuels (e.g., petroleum, coal, natural gas) and minimizes the amount of waste being sent to landfills or other solid waste facilities.

Indiana’s alternative fuel processor rules can be found at 329 IAC 11.7 [PDF]. The rules help prevent threats to human health or the environment -- including the creation of a fire hazard or vector attraction; air, land, or water pollution; or other contamination -- that improper storage, containment, processing, or disposal of solid waste may cause.

A facility that burns waste needs either an incinerator permit (329 IAC 11) or an alternative fuel processor registration under 329 IAC 11.7 from IDEM prior to beginning operations. A facility is eligible for an alternative fuel processor registration if:

  1. Up to 30% of the fuel it burns, by weight, is industrial process waste (329 IAC 10-2-95 [PDF]) or commercial solid waste (329 IAC 10-2-32 [PDF]) with a minimum fuel value of 5,000 Btu per pound,
  2. It accepts such waste from off-site, and
  3. It stores or processes such waste as an alternative fuel source.

Facility owners or operators should check with local government agencies to determine if any local approvals are required.


Facilities that are excluded from regulation are identified in 329 IAC 11.7-3-1 [PDF].

Facilities that accept waste tires as an alternative fuel do not need a waste tire registration. However, they must still meet storage, operational, closure, and financial assurance requirements under 329 IAC 15 [PDF] for tire processing prior to burning.

How to Register

Owners or operators must complete and submit to IDEM the Alternative Fuel Processor Registration Application (State Form 55308, available on the IDEM Forms page) and all requested documentation. Instructions are provided on the form. There is no application fee, and public notice is not required. An alternative fuel processor registration is valid for up to 5 years. Registrations are not transferable. When property upon which an alternative fuel processing facility is located and/or operating changes ownership, the new owner must apply to IDEM for a new registration if they wish to continue the operation.

Financial Assurance for Cleanup and Closure

To protect Indiana taxpayers from the costs of cleaning up abandoned facilities, the rules under 329 IAC 11.7-9-1 [PDF] require alternative fuel processors to post financial assurance if more than 10,000 tons of alternative fuel materials are stored at the site at any one time. Financial assurance provides IDEM with funds to clean up and properly close a facility if the owner/operator were to abandon or does not remove and properly dispose of waste remaining at an operation that goes out of business. To obtain the language necessary for financial assurance mechanisms, please contact the financial assurance staff listed on the Contact page.

Other Regulatory Requirements

In addition to obtaining a registration, alternative fuel processors must comply with other applicable requirements under 329 IAC 11.7 [PDF], including:

  • Storage requirements (329 IAC 11.7-5-1)
  • Operational requirements (329 IAC 11.7-6-1)
  • Disposal requirements (329 IAC 11.7-7-1)
  • Closure requirements (329 IAC 11.7-8-1)
    • When facility owners or operators end their alternative fuel operation, they must remove remaining alternative fuel and other waste streams from the facility or unit and send them to a permitted disposal facility. They also must properly decontaminate and close the facility or unit.

Modifications or Registration Renewals

Modifications to a facility must be approved by IDEM, and are required for a facility process change, any change in the amount of alternative fuel received, or when the facility location changes.

Registration renewals are due at least 60 days before the expiration date of the current registration.

Owners or operators must complete and submit the Alternative Fuel Processor Registration Application (State Form 55308, available on the IDEM Forms page) and all requested documentation to IDEM for modifications or renewals. Instructions are provided on the form. IDEM’s review and enforcement process for late renewals is set forth in nonrule policy document Waste-0062 (available on the IDEM Nonrule Policies page).

For Assistance

Please contact the Solid Waste Permits Section staff for more information or assistance.

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