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Solid Waste Processing Facilities

A solid waste processing facility is an operation that changes the chemical, physical, or biological properties of solid waste to make it easier to dispose of, recover a resource, or transfer solid waste material, excluding the transportation of solid waste. Indiana has defined several specific types of processing facility in IC 13-11-2-212, but they all receive waste from off-site and manipulate it in some manner before shipping off the results. These facilities must obtain a permit and submit quarterly reports in order to operate. Solid waste processing facility rules are at 329 IAC 11. Processing facilities that have the potential to emit air pollutants at certain levels may also be required to obtain an air permit from IDEM’s Office of Air Quality.

Solid waste processing facility is defined in rule and includes transfer stations.

Solid Waste Transfer Stations

Facilities at which solid waste is transferred from a vehicle or container to another vehicle or container for transportation purposes. Baling or shredding for the purposes of transportation may occur at a transfer station. Transfer Station is defined in IC 13-11-2-235, 329 IAC 11-2-47, and has a fact sheet for further information.

Solid Waste Incinerators

An incinerator is engineered equipment designed to burn solid waste under the effect of controls of temperature, retention time, air, and other combustion factors. In Indiana, incinerators are categorized and regulated as either solid waste incinerators, infectious waste incinerators, or hazardous waste incinerators. Although solid waste and infectious waste incinerators are permitted and regulated under the category of solid waste processing facilities, they are considered to be final disposal facilities for planning and disposal fee purposes, as evident in statutory language.

Medical or Infectious Waste Treatment Facilities

Infectious waste processors effectively treat infectious waste so it can be safely disposed of. Effective treatment of infectious waste is defined in IC 16-41-16-3 and it occurs when the pathogenic qualities of infectious waste is reduced to a point where the waste is safe to handle. The effective treatments include incineration, steam sterilization, chemical disinfection, thermal inactivation or irradiation.

Solid Waste Shredders and Garbage Grinding Systems

A shredder or garbage grinding system grinds waste to a smaller size to make it suitable for further processing, recycling, or disposal.

Solid Waste Solidification Facilities

A solidification facility combines wet/liquid wastes with materials or other waste to make the waste pass the paint filter (liquid) test and suitable for landfilling. Solid waste solidification facilities located at operating, permitted landfills are permitted under the landfill permit.

Solid Waste Balers

A baler compresses solid waste into compact bales that are easy to handle, store, and transport. Disposal of compressed waste bales saves air space in landfills.

Resource Recovery Systems

A resource recovery system processes solid waste into commercially valuable material or energy. A waste to energy facility is considered as a final disposal facility for planning and disposal fee purposes.

Plasma Arc and Other Heat Treatment Facilities

Plasma arc treatment involves putting waste into an enclosed chamber and introducing a high energy electrical arc that produces intense heat and breaks down molecules of the solid waste into their elemental atoms. Other heat treatment methods include gasification or pyrolysis.

Composting Facilities

A solid waste compost facility in this context manages the decomposition of non-vegetative and non-organic solid waste. However, this is uncommon. Indiana has a landfill ban on vegetative waste disposal and so, a separate registration program exists for vegetative and organic material composting facilities.

Other Solid Waste Operations

Certain operations such as collection container systems, waste tire transporter, E-waste processors, biomass digestion and gasification facilities, alternative fuel sources, and mobile home salvagers are authorized through separate programs and registrations.