Several trucks loading and unloading waste inside an operating transfer station

A solid waste processing facility is any facility where solid wastes are transferred from one container to another or are processed. Types of facilities include transfer stations and material recovery facilities, with or without composting. Transfer stations include, but are not limited to, a site or facility where waste is transferred from a rail carrier, motor vehicle or water carrier to another carrier, if the waste is removed from the container or vessel. The solid waste is temporarily stored or consolidated and then shipped to a waste disposal, processing or storage facility. A material recovery facility processes waste to remove material for further processing. This facility can operate with or without automated processes.

According to Code of State Regulations 10 CSR 80-2, companies that want to construct or operate a solid waste processing facility in Missouri are required to obtain the necessary solid waste permits, as described below. The permits are legally binding, enforceable documents that list what solid wastes can be accepted and identify any special handling requirements. Only solid wastes for which the facility has been specifically designed and performance tested to manage can be accepted. A solid waste processing facility permitted to treat or process infectious waste must follow additional requirements.

Some facilities may be allowed an exemption to operate without a solid waste permit if they are able to salvage, sell, re-use all the materials they accept, do not generate any waste to go to a landfill and do not violate any other environmental requirements while they are operating. Otherwise, these facilities’ waste-processing operations must be done only while operating with a solid waste processing permit. 

Permit Process

The permitting process for a solid waste processing facility consists of two parts, a construction permit and an operating permit. If the permit application meets all statutory and regulatory requirements and the local governmental authority confirms the proposed facility meets all local requirements, the department must issue a permit. The department does not choose locations for proposed facilities and does not have the authority to override the local governmental authority’s decision regarding local requirements.

Construction Permit

A construction permit must be obtained before any construction activities begin, including clearing vegetation or earth work. The permit applicant must schedule a meeting with the department’s Waste Management Program before submitting the construction permit application. To apply for a construction permit, the permit applicant submits the following information:

  • Permit application fee
  • A complete Application For Solid Waste Disposal Area Or Processing Facility Construction Permit - MO 780-0393 form. Permits are now issued to both the “owner” and “operator”, as defined in 10 CSR 80-2.010 (67) and (68). The appropriate parties should sign the application form. Verification that the appropriate person has signed as the “owner” of the land on which the facility is located is required.
  • Engineering plans and report for the facility design and operation. The plans and report must address each of the applicable sections in the Missouri Solid Waste Management Rules, 10 CSR 80-2 and 10 CSR 80-5. The regulations require the plans and report be prepared or approved by a professional engineer registered in Missouri.
  • Evidence of compliance with all applicable local planning and zoning requirements, as required in 10 CSR 80-2.020(6). If the local county and/or city do not have planning and zoning requirements, the permit applicant needs to provide letters from the local county and/or city officials stating this. Applications submitted without this information will be returned to the permit applicant as incomplete.

According to Missouri Revised Statues section 260.003, RSMo, before the department can issue a permit or a grant of authority, the local jurisdiction must verify the facility that is the subject of the permit or grant of authority is in compliance with all applicable local zoning, building and health codes, ordinances and orders with regards to the regulated activity. The department is legally required to request this verification, in addition to the permit applicant providing proof of local approval. The department must obtain this verification before the construction permit can be issued. After the construction permit is issued, the permit applicant may begin construction activities. Construction permits are transferable as a permit modification.

Operating Permit

The permit applicant applies for an operating permit after all pre-operational features have been constructed. An operating permit must be obtained before the solid waste processing facility may begin accepting waste. To request an operating permit, the permit applicant submits the following information:

  • A letter, sent by certified mail and signed by the owner/operator and a professional engineer, stating the pre-operational features of the solid waste processing facility have been completed in compliance with the construction permit and approved engineering plans
  • Any necessary as-built drawings

If an operating permit is issued, it is effective for the life of the facility. Operating permits are transferable as a permit modification.

Review Timeline

The Missouri Solid Waste Management Law establishes the time frames for issuing permits, which varies by the type of facility being permitted. 

Transfer Station 

  • The department must issue or deny a construction permit within 180 days of receiving the permit application
  • The permit applicant must respond to the department's requests for information or comment letters within 45 days
  • If the department does not receive the requested information within 45 days, the application review may be terminated and the application denied
  • The department must issue or deny an operating permit within 60 days of receiving the permit application

Material Recovery Facility

  • The department must issue or deny a construction permit within 12 months of receiving the permit application
  • The permit applicant must respond to the department's requests for information or comment letters within 90 days of the request
  • If the department does not receive the requested information within 90 days, the application review may be terminated and the application denied
  • The department must issue or deny an operating permit within 60 days of receiving the permit application

Public Participation

The department conducts public participation activities for the construction permit application, as described in section 260.205.10., RSMo. As soon as a construction permit application is received, the department notifies the public through the following methods:

  1. Placing a legal notice in a newspaper that serves the area where the proposed processing facility is to be located
  2. Mailing a certified letter to the governing body of the county or city in which the processing facility is to be located

For public notice information about any currently proposed solid waste processing facilities, visit Public Notices/ Public Comments.